DAP lawmaker Tony Pua wants the Election Commission (EC) to take its job seriously and improve the registration of new voters, claiming those interested have been facing problems.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP argued that the voter registration rate has declined since the EC stopped allowing members of political parties to be appointed as assistant registration officers (ARO) in 2013.
“The impact and difference is telling. In 2011 alone, 1,023,170 Malaysians were registered as new voters. However, the three years from 2013 to 2015 only saw a total of 617,254 voters registered, or an average of 205,751 voters per annum,” he said in a statement.
“At this rate, the number of unregistered voters will only increase exponentially as there are more than 500,000 new qualified voters every year (and increasing!).”
The present Barisan Nasional (BN) federal coalition’s mandate expires in the middle of 2018. Fresh elections must be called by then.
While Pua acknowledged the EC had expressed commitment to assign officers to assist in registration campaigns, he claimed there were never enough forms available for the public.
“Even when we then ask the unregistered voters to head to the nearest post office, we have often heard the inexcusable complaints of the lack of forms,” the DAP national publicity secretary said.
He added that future voter registration drive would be further affected because the EC has given official notice for political parties to stop their campaigns after October 3 as the polls regulator has to focus on dealing with complaints to its controversial redelineation proposal.
Pua said the actions of the EC would at best be a result of incompetency, and at worst he claimed, an act of sabotage to the electoral process.
“We call upon the Election Commission to be serious about the registration of new voters since they have persistently refused the proposal for the automatic registration of voters,” Pua added.
“If it is unable to carry out its responsibilities on its own, then it should start using its powers to appoint thousands of AROs across the country.”
The Malay Mail Online