KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 – There was drama in PKR’s troubled election when the official heading the systems and data unit for the polls was nabbed by police over alleged hacking in Sarawak’s Julau division.
At 9am yesterday, Alvin Teoh Kong Seng was arrested at the Sibu airport following complaints of a cyberattack on tablet computers used in the e-voting process.
In an immediate response, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised certain party officials’ behaviour that led to the arrest.
“Another example of impetuous behaviour which ignores facts,” a news portal quoted the incoming PKR president as saying in a private text to party leaders.
The report stated that Anwar provided a lawyer to assist Teoh, who was released later in the evening.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, commenting on the same problem, did not rule out the possibility of infiltrators trying to tarnish the party’s image.
“Our party has grown. Last time there were very few members, so there were few problems. Now we have grown, so there are more problems.
“Also, we can’t rule out the fact that we may have infiltrators out to tarnish the party’s image,” she told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The main race in the PKR polls – its first after Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 general election – is between Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli for the post of deputy president.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the sole candidate for the presidency and will be formally declared PKR leader at the party congress, scheduled from Nov 16-18.
Balloting started on Sept 22 using an e-voting system held state by state.
Sarawak was the last to conduct balloting. The state has about 50,000 PKR members in 29 divisions, 22 of which voted on Saturday and seven yesterday.
However, polling in the state and several others were hit by glitches, allegations of phantom voters, disputes and other issues.
These problems led to results being nullified in a number of divisions, forcing balloting to be rescheduled in the affected areas.
The latest to be hit was the super-sized Julau division, which has 13,000 members.
The division held balloting on Saturday, but claims of a cyberattack led to the suspension of its results.
The incident triggered an exchange of accusations by key party leaders.
On Saturday, Rafizi reportedly blamed the disruption on a cyberattack, while PKR’s election committee chief Datuk Rashid Din said that 10 tablets used for e-voting were found to have been “compromised” with the Prey anti-theft software.
Wanita PKR chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, who is seen as a staunch Azmin supporter, yesterday questioned the committee’s statement.
“The committee came out with a statement based on Rafizi’s accusations that was confusing.
“It did not understand the function of Prey and the use of tablets for e-voting,” Zuraida said in a statement.
She said the Prey application was used to protect information in devices such as smartphones, adding that it was not malware as alleged by Rafizi.
Yesterday also saw fresh polls being held in two Sabah divisions, six Melaka divisions and in Kuala Selangor.