May 3 - Fraud rumours are doing the rounds even before polling stations open for Malaysia's general election. Paul Chapman reports
Malaysia's general election's happening this weekend but there are rumours of fraud even before the polling stations open. Security forces have voted ahead of the main event - already there are complaints that the ink used to mark the fingers of voters isn't as indelible as it should be. The opposition alleges thousands of people are being flown in to key states to boost the government's chances of winning. And Ibrahim Suffian of independent pollster Merdeka Center says that's not all. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF INDEPENDENT POLLSTER MERDEKA CENTER, IBRAHIM SUFFIAN SAYING: "In the past few months we are already hearing rumours and unsubstantiated statements about the presence of foreign nationals being given IDs and then allowed to vote." The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is under pressure. After 56 years in power support is shifting. The opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim is looking to pick up votes. His target is those unhappy with rising living costs, disillusioned over race-based policies, and lack of political and economic reform. This election could be the closest yet since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957. Many are coming home from abroad to vote. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIAN VOTER RESIDING IN AUSTRALIA, 40-YEAR-OLD, TANG HENG SAYING: "I think this is going to be a historical event and I want to be part of it." Despite the election heat poll watchers predict a win for the ruling party albeit with a reduced parliamentary majority.