4 million eligible voters cannot cast their vote – EC should conduct 3-wk final voter registration campaign

The Election Commission should conduct a final three-week voter-registration campaign to enable more eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the 12th general election as it is scandalous that there are four million eligible but unregistered voters in a country which claims to be modern and developed.

The Election Commission has announced that with the gazetting of the 2007 Master Electoral Roll today, the number of voters totalled 10,922,139.

This is after the incorporation of the fourth-quarter electoral roll from Oct 1 to Dec 31 with 200,393 names, comprised 148,969 new electors and 51,424 voters who had changed their polling centres.

It is a mark of failure that the Election Commission has not been able to ensure a minimum of 90% registration of all eligible voters on the Electoral Roll, as the Election Commission has been able to register only some 73% of eligible voters to enable them to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

With four million eligible Malaysians not registered, this is a walloping 27% of eligible voters who cannot cast their vote.

I told Parliament more than a decade ago that in New Zealand, its Election Commission could register voters on the eve of polling day to enable them to cast their vote the next day.

Why is the Election Commission in Malaysia so outmoded and antediluvian as to be unable to provide a more efficient and up-to-mark voter registration mechanism?

If in New Zealand, an eligible voter can register on the eve of polling day as to vote the next day, is it totally beyond the competence, capability and professionalism of the Election Commission to conduct a final three-week voter-registration exercise to enable more eligible voters to vote in the 12th general election, as its Polling Day is expected only in the first half of March?

This is one of the issues I had wanted to discuss with the Election Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman when I asked for a meeting with him early last month, but the Election Commission Chairman seemed to have become unavailable to the Opposition although he would have responded to any beck-and-call by the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.

I will ask my office to make a final call to find out whether a meeting with Rashid could be arranged, as there are many issues I want to discuss with him – particularly whether the Election Commission could conduct a clean, free and fair general election – or whether the Election Commission at this critical period in the run-up to the dissolution of Parliament and the 12th general election is only available when he is summoned by the Prime Minister or the Putrajaya fourth-storey boys but not to meet political leaders of Opposition parties.

  1. #1 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 5:39 pm

    The system that require voters to register months before actual election date should be permanently void. It is only fair that every citizens above the age of 18 should be eligible to vote when they produce their Mykad at the polling centre even during the election day.

  2. #2 by Malaysian citizen on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 5:50 pm

    Time has come for us to chose whether you want to continue paying more tolls and higher toll prices every year.

    It is also time to decide whether you want to be treated as 2nd class citizen just because your skin colour and religion is different.

    Voting for BN means you are voting for just one race.

    Voting for BN means there will be no political leaders from BN who dares to stand out and fight for your rights or to stand out to say what you are not happy with ,for example : the current rights policies , especially the special Malay rights and quota system favouring just Bumis that has been
    enforced since 1970.

    Every Malaysians in Malaysia are called citizens but when it comes to the government support to the citizens , only one race is being taken care of with special rights by setting extra quotas for them.

    What happen to all the Chinese and Indians contributions to the country , are we going to tolerate being treated as 2nd class citizens for the rest of our life and generations to come.

    Say no to BN.

  3. #3 by prelude3372 on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 5:55 pm

    Can YB highlight is we can find out how many new voters registered after the 25th Nov`07? Would those new registered would be eligble to vote for this GE? How many % of them are Indians?

  4. #4 by prelude3372 on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 5:56 pm

    Should be “Can YB highlight where we can find”

  5. #5 by gofortruth on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 5:59 pm

    So childish!

    This is coming from Malaysian Association of France:-
    Dear All,
    For your information the Form A from the election commission is available at the embassy.
    Those eligible and who wish to can go to the embassy to register themselves as postal voters in order to vote in the coming elections.
    Only civil servants and their spouses and all full time students and their are entitled to this.
    Please consult the letter from the embassy regarding this.
    For further information please call the embassy at 0145531185
    Thank you

    sk tye
    Note carefully, only CIVIL servants & their spouses & FULL time students are ENTITLED to vote.

    What about the others? Are they all being deemed as criminals so have lost their constitutional right to cast their votes??????

  6. #6 by jus legitimum on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 6:05 pm

    At the Kelana Jaya Post Office eligible voters are turned away and were told to contact SPR for voter registration.The SPR telephone number is displayed at the counter for public to make enquiries.It looks as if SPR not only discourages people from registering as voters.It also gives impression to people that it is scared of seeing more eligible voters to register as voters.

  7. #7 by LittleBird on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 6:34 pm

    Me Think, this 4 million people do not care much for the government or believe in the election process. Any any event, they are more likely to vote against BN. So why bother?

  8. #8 by r.shekar on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 7:57 pm

    Most of the post office out of the form when Indians want to register as voters. Where these reasons cannot be accepted at all.And it’s shows uneffiency of the SPR, Post Office and BN govement. it’s another dirty tactics by the BN and SPR to avoid the Indians to vote for opposition.

  9. #9 by Malaysian citizen on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 8:16 pm

    Election is just around the corner , I wish all those that are being treated unfairly by the government to not fall for their empty promises.

    BN’s MCA or MIC could not and will not fight for the non-bumis rights. For example , the special rights and Quota policies implemented by Umno 37 years ago which has been on since 1970 will not be abolished unless the opposition can say something about it.


    I want to see if the government can have a policy that treats all Malaysian citizens equally before unity can happen in Malaysia. As I am born Malaysia myself , I am really disappointed with the present government who treats me as a second class citizen.

    I really do not understand how some non-bumis can vote for the BN who continue to take away our rights and all our future generations rights in term of educations , work opportunities and their whole future.

  10. #10 by year of snake on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:04 pm

    I am a DAP supporter, but I beg to differ regarding registration as a voter because it was so easy to do it for my family and friends. These so called 4 million eligible voters are just irresponsible and would’nt care less about voting. I am sure those who have not change their Mykard till now are in these 4 millions because they like to do things at the last moment hoping that there will be an extension. Therefore, LKS should concentrate on wooing voters for the coming GE than to talk about things which is a lost cause.

  11. #11 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:23 pm

    Why can’t it be more flexible ? There should be a system in which the identity card department is involved so that flexi registration can be done there and then, meaning even on the election day itself, and the eligible person can vote. Of course there should be some form of security system to prevent phantom voters and other problems which will destroy the credibility of the election process. If Prime Minister praised the government service for a great work done, then this great work should involve elections’ preparations.

  12. #12 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:25 pm

    Voter registration and voter turnout are important issues because as we know it could make a difference between winning and losing. Today is Super Tuesday in the U.S. when voters from some 22 states (coast to coast) come out to cast votes for their candidates for the coming national elections.

    Obama has the kind of support which cuts across a good cross section of the electorate from all ages, young and old, college students, and women, black and white, democrats and republicans and independents. Some say he is not just a candidate for the elections but a movement – and how does one defeat a movement?! Obama received very strong endorsements from Sen. Ted Kennedy who is a magnet for Latinos, Caroline Kennedy, Oprah and even the First Lady of the state of California.

    The problem with voter registration in the U.S. is not serious because of the heigtened political awareness among voters, who take pride in the knowledge that each vote is as important as another – poor, middle class, white, black, hispanic, men and women, each vote is as important as the other. Still there is a need for voters to register themselves today especially when non-citizens have been voting undetected through the years. The young first time voters and college students are known for their lackadaisical attitude and fail to register themselves in time.

    But at least unlike in Malaysia the process of registration of voters is not abused by government officials. Disenfranchisement of voters is always a gross abuse of the electoral process and when you consider that in Malaysia the concept of civil service neutrality is all but abandoned, the issue takes on huge proportions.

    Voter turnout is just as important. College students are known for turning out in huge numbers to support their candidates, listening to speeches etc but on voting day they fail to turn out to cast their vote!

    The same must be happening in Malaysia.

  13. #13 by kritikus on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:32 pm

    Brother Kit,




  14. #14 by I Malaysian on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 9:43 pm

    We know for the fact that the EC chairman is unofficial Electoral Agent for BN. If your claim is true, as Head of Opposition can’t you summon the EC for deliberately failing to register the voters? Just like Hindraf if it necessary take them to international Justice if you fail to get one here.

  15. #15 by alaneth on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 10:40 pm

    Just view any International Media and see how Malaysia fares in their media – & our BN govt keep on denying it.

    Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
    -John F. Kennedy

  16. #16 by boomingray on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 10:56 pm

    they will tell you our Passport is the most advanced and the credit card’s chips is not able to be cloned,we cant be everything ahead of others right?

  17. #17 by budak on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 12:03 am

    unless you can prove that you’re casting for BN…
    else wait for another 5 years…!

    the BOOT LICKERs deny my rights 5 years ago…
    5 years later I still vote for DAP for NOW and FOREVER…

    5 years ago, my friend (lady) and I register at the very same location, day and time… she get eligibility to vote but not me… why? we found that most of the guys being “filtered” by Rashid & Co.

    how’s he going to EXPLAIN to ME..!
    anyway I don’t need him to explain to me, it’s purely a constructed “SCAM” and it’s a “TRADEGY” in Malaysia history…

  18. #18 by Yong Chee keong on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 12:03 am

    What is so difficult for the EC to link up with JPN? When a person is 21 yrs of age, his name is automatically registered as a voter according to the address on the MyKad. Just because one is registered as a voter does not mean that he is forced to vote. One is still free if he wants or does not want to exercise that right as a citizen. At least he is automatically registered.

  19. #19 by lucia on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 12:25 am

    talking about free and fair election, please allow me to hitch on your blog to promote the training session of election observers for a free and fair election. thank you!

  20. #20 by Colonel on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 1:55 am

    “I am a DAP supporter, but I beg to differ regarding registration as a voter because it was so easy to do it for my family and friends. These so called 4 million eligible voters are just irresponsible..”

    You’re speaking from your own personal experience and cannot be blamed for having such enormous trust in the system. Others do not because their experiences are different.

    As for those who are eligible to vote but fail to register, there are various reasons for this. Some feel their votes would not make a difference and therefore do not bother to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Others are just not interested. But many others are interested but find their names missing from the roll and therefore have been disenfranchised. We can do something about this group of voters. You cannot paint them with a broad brush stroke and call them ‘irresponsible’ and leave at that.

  21. #21 by disapointed86 on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 2:24 am

    haiz..i havent register as a voter..the registration already closed…

  22. #22 by sotong on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 5:12 am

    When a government could not capitalise and take proper care for her hundreds of thousands hard working, talented and resourceful individuals who are now making significant contribution to the success of other countries……..its leaders are most irresponsible, short sighted and incompetent.

  23. #23 by year of snake on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 7:58 am

    “You cannot paint them with a broad brush stroke and call them ‘irresponsible’ and leave at that”

    I appologize if I sound like I meant it that way. Actually I am writing in frustration because many people, some friends and relatives included just don’t bother to register and with those who have, they don’t even go out to vote. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same “What for, BN sure to win”. I always tell them that in this world there is no such thing as sure except for Death. At least they should go out to vote and if BN wins in a certain constituency, the winning is not a landslide. What about those places where th winnings is from 10-30 votes, it can make a lot of difference if those people have gone to vote. I hope that in this coming GE everybody who have registered will come out to excercise their constitutional rights to vote to deny the 2/3 majority of BN.

  24. #24 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 8:15 am

    Contrast that with what is happening in the United States right now! The U.S. is in the midst of their primary elections to elect their nominee for the U.S. Presidential race in November this year. You see millions coming out to vote! It is one day when everyone is equal – rich or poor, young or old, woman or man, white, black or hispanic or Asian. Each vote means exactly the same! Each vote means exactly that – one vote.

    Voters are proud to be exercising their constitutional right to vote, hoping that their vote would make a difference. If you don’t vote how would you know?

    Barack Obama wins S. Carolina and now Georgia. Polls are closing.

  25. #25 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 8:18 am

    Either way history is in the making. The Democrats have their dream ticket i.e. the first African American and the first woman as President and Vice-President!

  26. #26 by k1980 on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 12:45 pm

  27. #27 by chgchksg128 on Tuesday, 26 February 2008 - 10:46 pm

    Can poosition do it to deny two third..come and vote and in the blog as well.

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