KUALA LUMPUR — Phantoms, ghosts, demons and other Malaysian supernatural beings across the country today urged the government and the Election Commission to make voting easier for them this coming 13th General Elections.
Speaking at their headquarters during an awkwardly-timed Press conference past midnight, Minah Jelir, President of Persatuan Hantu Kebangsaan (PHAK), said that in light of the huge number of registered ‘pengundi hantu’, the authorities should be more sensitive to their unique needs.
“For the longest time, we feel neglected and marginalised despite the fact that we make up a good percentage of the 13 million registered voters in the country,” said Minah, an 83-year old pontianak (female vampire) dressed in a fashionably long torn white robe, with the odd blood and dirt stain or two. “But every single election season, my people find that the voting conditions are simply deplorable.”
Minah pointed how the voting period of 8am to 5pm does not consider the nocturnal nature of ghouls and demons.
“For goodness sake, which phantom in their right mind stays up in the middle of the day?” asked Minah angrily. “Our skin burns when exposed to sunlight. No amount of SPF100 sunblock can protect us while queueing for our turn to cast our votes!” she growled, before relating the unfortunate incident in 2008 in which 3 hantu rayas (a type of demon that acts as a double for a black magic practitioner) burst into flames in the hot sun in Kodiang, Kedah. “It’s no secret that the undead are only active at night, so please extend the voting hours for us. Stop being so living-centric!”
Eyes glowing with fury, Minah also raised the issue of having to bring along an identification card in order to be allowed into a voting centre.
“Look, some of us ghosts pre-date Identification Cards and Malaysian passports, okay? Hantu Galah (pole ghost) out there is over 6,000 years old,” said Minah, gesturing to a tall, thin demon hiding behind a huge tree in the HQ compound. “And like many ghosts, he’s the introvert type too scared and shy to go to the National Registration Department to get his IC made. But does that mean he doesn’t have the right to determine who governs this fair land on which we haunt?”
Minah however said the association agreed that the Malaysian general election is only for Malaysian citizens. “We at PHAK fully support the condition that only Malaysians — humans or ghouls — get to vote here, this is our country and we should have the exclusive right to pick who leads us. so Count Dracula and his expat ‘mat salleh’ minions don’t qualify, just like my Kuntilanak cousins from Indonesia. But please, find another way to identify us. Surely you have the technology to do that?”
“And what’s with the indelible ink?” asked the bloodsucker from Kuala Selangor, whose victim tally is reportedly in the hundreds. “Sure, it works on human fingers, but what about those with less-than-alive skin and brimstone-hardened talons? The silver nitrate content of the ink does not go well with our dead cells!” she said, taking a swipe at the table she was seated at, leaving a set of horrifying deep gashes on the teak wood that made several Press members faint in fear. “Frankly I don’t see the point of painting some red ink on our fingers when our entire hands are covered in blood.
“Plus, you know what’s the toughest part about this indelible ink business? It totally disregards the phantom voters who can’t get their hands extended to be painted, such as the Pocong (ghost in death shroud). And where is the Penanggalan (floating vampire head) supposed to be painted with the ink? Her entrails?” said Minah, pointing towards the ghastly ghoul at the back of the room while telling her to stop feeding from the neck of a petrified Harian Metro journalist.
“The Election Commission also must address the age requirements for voters,” she added. “While the rules for the living may be clear, the EC should think about how the 21-and-above rule applies to my old-but-forever-young colleague, Toyol (child spirit used by black magic practitioners to steal). He may look like a typical 2-year old, but ladies and gentlemen, he’s been 2 for the last 150 years.”
The pontianak continued, “We want the government to introduce some comprehensive changes to enable ghosts and phantom voters to perform our civic duty in peace. We understand that you humans may not want to cast your votes amongst us — our horrid appearance may strike mortal fear in many of you, but believe me, some of us do not wish to be seen amongst the living too.
“So we urge EC to provide a separate venue and time for us soulless beings. A place where we can vote without causing mass hysteria or being jeered, or worse still — victimised by ghost hunters. A place where less-than-modest ghosts like Hantu Kopek (demon that suffocates her victims with her killer breasts) can do her deed without shame,” said Minah, her fangs glistening in the moonlight peering through the window.
Asked what would be the association’s hopes for the future of Malaysia, Miss Jelir said that she envisions a time where phantoms and humans can co-exist in peace and harmony.
“Yes, we may have many issues to iron out,” she said, eyes tearing from her emotions and raw exposed nerves. “Our kind may find difficulty finding alternative food sources — you living do taste good. But if we could just put all these petty issues behind us and focus on our future and the rakyat’s wellbeing, we can all be happy together.
“I’d like to see one of my kind in Parliament one day. Imagine that, a Yang Berpuaka debating on education or defence issues with a Yang Berhormat. That would be just inspiring!” said Minah, before letting out a banshee-like laughter and flying off into the cloudless night.