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Thread: Indelible ink: EC, don't treat the indelible ink issue as an eyewash

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Indelible ink: EC, don't treat the indelible ink issue as an eyewash

    EC, don't treat the indelible ink issue as an eyewash


    Thursday, 23 May 2013 admin-s

    At 1% Silver Nitrate concentration, the silver nitrate in the indelible ink is only good enough for use in an eyewash.
    PY Wong

    Tindak Malaysia’s founder, PY Wong calls on the Election Commission chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof to be upfront about the indelible ink.
    He was responding to Abdul Aziz’s recent comments that the EC would set up a team to probe the indelible ink.

    “The issue of indelible ink,” he said, “is an important step towards restoring the people’s confidence in the Election Commission, tasked with conducting a clean and fair election. However, the rakyat have raised doubts over the issue of the indelible ink and told the EC on how to best implement it based on world standards.”

    For example, Code ESI of Canada produces indelible ink with a concentration of silver nitrate in the range of 7% - 25% and under the UNDP Procurement Guide, “live” human trials by the public should be conducted to gain public acceptance. All this information is available online, for example, in Tindak Malaysia website ( since July last year.

    Wong pointed out that the finger also has to be dipped into the ink with a sponge and the bottle shaked to make sure that the silver nitrate is on top of the ink and stains the finger. “The ink has to stay on the finger for a minimum of 30 seconds to take effect,” he said.

    While the EC Deputy Chairman, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar claimed ink can dry in 3 seconds, Wong claimed that experts say it is impossible. “We demand the EC reveal the solvent used in the indelible ink that can dry in 3 seconds.”

    By failing to use the indelible ink in a manner that is prescribed by the ink manufacturers, despite the advices given through the Public Accountability Committee in 2011, Abdul Aziz runs into the risk of doing things ‘detrimental to parliamentary democracy.’ “Abdul Aziz, as the EC Chairman, has to take responsibility for any foul play,” he said.

    Abdul Aziz, he added, had on many occasions denied that the ink was easily removed; instead, he had claimed that the ink was able to last for seven days. He had also stated that the EC received a letter from the Ministry of Health stating that the silver nitrate content in the ink should not exceed one percent, because he claimed that silver nitrate could cause cancer or damage to the kidney.

    A voter, who is trained as a chemist, had earlier disputed the claim that silver nitrate could be carcinogenic or damage to the kidney. “Silver nitrate is used in laboratory very often. In its 99.99% purity form, it can even be purchased online (, and the Material Safety Data Sheet of silver nitrate from reputable laboratories made no mention about the chemical being carcinogenic or able to cause damage to the kidney,” he said.

    Wong wants to know who in the Ministry of Health had written to the EC, and on what basis was the false claim made or whether the EC chairman himself had lied to the public about the content of silver nitrate. “Abdul Aziz should publish the content of the letter,” he added. “He should also reveal the name of the manufacturers.”

    Wong said that it is clear now that the silver nitrate content of the ink was a mere one percent. “At one percent silver nitrate content, I do not see the need to even shake the ink,” he said. “There is no need for the EC to set up a special team to probe the ink, especially when Abdul Aziz had made several statements that are blatant lies.”

    If the EC wants a team to probe, it should include all stakeholders in the team. “This would have to also include representatives from both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional, as well as representatives from NGOs and the Bersih movement,” he said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Somewhere along the line, he lied. Can he make up his mind on how he wants to lie.

    1. The ink stain can last 7 days: It only lasted 7 minutes once the finger was washed.
    2. The ink can dry in 3 seconds, Deputy EC Chairman. The ballot paper cannot be stained: There were thousands of smudged ballot papers all over the country. Many even used the ink to mark on the ballot paper to indicate who they want because the pen supplied for voting was removed, leaving the voter with no choice but to mark with an X
    3. The colour of the ink is top secret, more important that the open trials demanded by civil society.
    4. The silver nitrate solution is dangerous to health. So we capped it at 1% concentration,
    5. At the last minute we made a decision to leave out silver nitrate.
    6. For health reasons due to a warning from the Ministry of Health, we adopted 1% silver nitrate concentration. How did the EC managed to change so fast. Normally it takes 3 weeks to get a fresh batch using a different concentration.
    7. We repeatedly requested for open trials to identify potential problems and for the EC to operate in the open. They ignore all this.
    8. What is the justification for insisting to mark the ink before issue of ballot paper rather than to mark after voting. There are enough warnings and articles online before the GE to guide them on what to do. Who is going to pay for this fiasco?
    9. The ineffective indelible ink has not stopped double voting by the Advance Voters.
    10. By not applying indelible ink on local postal voters, the EC has created room for such voters to return on polling day to vote again.
    11. Finally, the pathetic excuse by the Deputy EC Chairman: This is the 1st time we are doing this. Give us a break.

    We sincerely believe the whole EC should take a break, a permanent one.

    EC chief must show indelible ink letter or 'resign'

    3:43PM Jun 10, 2013

    Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof must produce the letter that the Health Ministry has sent him, on the danger of too much silver nitrate in indelible ink.

    Failure to do so, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (left), should be followed with Aziz’s resignation as EC chief.

    Lim was referring to Aziz’s repeated claims that the Health Ministry had issued a safety report that warned of potential health risks from more than one percent silver nitrate concentration in indelible ink, despite this being denied.
    Silver nitrate is what makes indelible ink last, once it is used on a surface.
    Lim, who is Penang chief minister, said the EC is “indirectly blaming” the ministry for causing it to waste RM6 million on purchasing the indelible ink, which was easily washed off.
    “If the Health Ministry cannot even trust the EC, how can the people trust the EC to be clean, fair and free in conducting elections?” Lim asked in a statement today.

    “The fiasco of the indelible ink that could be easily washed off has destroyed what little integrity EC has left, plunging its credibility to its lowest depth in history.

    “Never before has the EC adopted BN’s political attacks against the opposition, and has even threatened to sue Pakatan (Rakyat) leaders.”
    'Health Ministry consulted'

    Aziz had said in an interview with the Singapore Straits Times last month that the EC received a letter from the Malaysian Health Ministry, warning of potential kidney damage and cancer risks associated with a more than one percent content of silver nitrate content in indelible ink.

    However, Aziz's claim was denied by current Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam (left), who said the ministry did not issue any safety report on the ink, and that the EC had not requested for any such report.

    Yet, in a text-message toMalaysiakini last Saturday, Aziz hadreiterated his initial claim.

    "Yes, we did (send the ink to the ministry for safety evaluation) and we have the reply," he texted.

    The use of the indelible ink during the May 5 general election drew flak from voters after several reports were lodged on the ease with which the ink could be removed from their index fingers.
    The EC had initially claimed the ink could last up to at least seven days.

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