Bersih Sarawak has launched a voter registration campaign, also known as U campaign, urging eligible voters in the state to register latest by this month to be able to participate in the upcoming general election.
The nationwide month-long campaign is held this month (March) as it is the month the Election Commission (EC) will start processing new registrations for the year. EC processes the applications every quarter of each year.
According to Bersih Sarawak vice chairperson Ann Teo, the objective of the campaign is to raise the importance of registering as a voter and to register those who have just reached 21 years of age.
She added that Bersih 2.0 recently conducted a twitter poll among netizens in an attempt to find out why so many had not registered as voters.
From about 2,000 respondents, she said more than half said they were disappointed with political parties while 39 per cent said elections were useless.
“Surprisingly nine per cent said they didn’t know how to become a registered voter. If its nine per cent of the yet unregistered 4.2 million, then we would like to speak to these 378,000 people and tell them to register and vote.
“And that they can do these by going to the nearest computerised Post Office apart from registering at EC office through an assistant registrar officer appointed by EC,” she told reporters after witnessing their acquaintances register as voters at Kenyalang Park Post Office yesterday.
Ann added if the general election were to be held in Sept this year, this would be the last chance for those eligible voters to register.
“As for the majority who gave reasons like they were disappointed with political parties or that their vote does not matter or that elections are a farce, we would like them to see that their right to vote is precious but they will not know unless they have ‘tasted’.
“Once they have this right, they can then not only vote the person of their choice but they can participate more in the democratic or political process for example engaging with their people’s representative and directly influence decision regarding issues that they care about,” she said.
“After all I think most of us agree that every day we are affected by the decisions that our elected officials or politicians make. Hence with the current system of electing our leaders you can only ‘find your voice’ if you are a registered voter. The first step is hence to register as one,” she pointed out.
Bersih Sarawak will be opening up voter registration booths with assistance of volunteers from various participating NGOs and political parties in various places.
Among the locations are Uptown Samarahan (March 18 from 7pm to 9pm), Siburan Bazaar Kopitiam (March 19 from 8am to 2pm) and Kuching Sentral (on March 25 and 26 from 11am to 7pm).
Source : @ Borneo Post Online