In concert with the nation-wide campaign to get as many of the 4.1 million unregistered voters in Malaysia to register to vote, Bersih Sarawak will launch the U campaign on Sat the 11th March at the Kenyalang Post Office in Kuching at 9.30 am.
The objective of the U campaign is to raise awareness of the need to register to vote. It takes between 4-6 months for the Election Commission to process, we are hoping that people do not wait until last minute to register as a voter! Our message is that they should register on or before the 31st March 2017 if they want a higher chance of being able to exercise their vote when the General Elections are called!
This campaign is necessary because there are gaps in the system and civil society is stepping in with their volunteer power. Although Election Commission has the job of registering new voters from amongst Malaysians who are 21 years old and above, the channels are quite restrictive. Prior to GE13 the Election Commission appoints members of political parties to be AROs but not anymore, citing misuse & abuse. The figure of 4.1 million means that one in four eligible Malaysians have given up their democratic right to choose their representative whether consciously or not. “We want to speak to those who have turned 21 or are in their twenties that if they choose not to register as voters this will eventually translate to a smaller collective voice & a lesser representation of the interests of the youths. Please don’t let this happen! Take this citizenship right seriously, register now & exercise this right wisely when election comes around.” said Ann Teo, currently Bersih 2.0 Vice-Chairperson for Sarawak.
We thus call upon all members of the public who wish to register as voters to do so at the nearest computerized Post Office all throughout Sarawak or Election Commission office. They are also welcome to join us at the launch at Kenyalang Park Post Office at 9.30 am on the 11th March and apply to register over the post office counter there. Just bring your IC. Additionally, registered voters may also apply to change their polling district at the Post Office provided the address in their IC is already changed.
Bersih Sarawak is made up a group of local NGOs and we are combining efforts with different sections of the community to conduct voter registration activities all throughout the whole month of March. We will keep the public informed of all the campaign activities via the media from time to time. As an example one of the participating civil action group R.O.S.E will be setting up a voter registration booth at Siburan Bazaar on the 19th March from 9 am to 2 pm. to cater for those living outside of the city. There will also have another counter on the 25th and 26th March at Kuching Sentral.
8th March 2017
Statement by Bersih Sarawak