INDELIBLE INK? From what I know INDELIBLE means impossible to remove, erase, or wash away; permanent.
But from my own personal experience and observation, the so-called indelible blue ink used for the 13th Malaysia general election is NOT indelible as claimed. It was reported in News Straits Times (May 05, 2013) that the Election Commission proves to the media that indelible lasts.
“EC secretary Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria and EC officers conducted the demonstration with a media representative, while witnessed by their colleagues.
In the demonstration, it was clear that attempts by the media representative to remove the ink smeared on the index finger, ended in failure despite the use of various detergents.” (NST)
After my partner and I came back from voting at Kampung Pandan, I did the laundry. To my surprise, I noticed the blue stain on my finger disappeared. The blue ink smudge on my finger was easily removed when I did the my washing with detergent and water.
Then my partner decided to test it out for himself. He took pictures of his finger before he washed it with washing detergent and water. Yes, indeed the blue mark on his index finger vanished !
See the photos below (featuring both the front and back view of his finger):
1st UPDATE: Today (5th May, 2013) the Election Commission said that it is not worried about the election ink that can be washed off, saying that voters cannot vote twice with one Identity Card number.
Then why does the Government waste money and manpower for using the so-called indelible ink in the first place?!
2nd UPDATE : Now, the Election Commission says the indelible ink used in the 13th General Election has a different strength from those used in other countries, as it has to comply with halal and health regulations.
Earlier when some Malaysians said that the ink could be washed off, the EC vehemently insisted that the ink would not come off. EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told Malaysian Insider that it is impossible, he does not believe the indelible ink can be removed by any oil-based lubricant. The ink is made from silver nitrate. He added that when the ink is put on the fingernail, it will seep into the skin.
Then it was reported in The Star, the EC clarified that this was due to an oversight by the commission staff members who did not shake the bottles before using the ink.
Next, the EC secretary and his colleagues even demonstrated to a media representative, and semuanya okay (everything was fine) as I have mentioned above.
I think the next reason EC is going to give is because of our index finger. The ink should be applied on our middle finger. NAH!
3th UPDATE : EC said they are using the indelible ink for the first time and surely there are shortcomings.
Furthermore, Deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar added that the ink was stored them in police lock-ups for safekeeping. Probably due to long storage period, the ink content dropped and it became thinner.
4th UPDATE: Today (June 26, 2013) it was reported in The Malaysian Insider, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim admitted that the indelible ink used in the 13th general election actually contained food coloring, and not silver nitrate as claimed by Election Commission.
They paid RM7 million for food coloring. And interestingly, the expiry date of the indelible ink was four months from the date it was issued.