The next two weeks is the last chance for over four million unregistered eligible voters to register so that they can vote in 14th General Election which may be held in September.
Since I first elected in Parliament in 1969, one of the issues I had raised was for the automatic registration of voters, which is quite commonplace in other countries but seems impossible in Malaysia.
Some 48 years have passed since I was first elected to Parliament to represent Bandar Melaka, but automatic registration of voters is still as distant as ever.
It would appear that we have one of the most incompetent and inefficient Election Commissions in the world which is incapable of have an efficient and up-to-date voters’ registration system.
Other countries can have a system where a voter can register today and vote tomorrow, but in Malaysia, the Election Commission needs some six months before it could process the registration and allow a voter to cast his or her vote.
This means that over four million Malaysians, who had not registered as voters, must register by the next fortnight if they are to be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote if Parliament is dissolved for the 14th General Election to be held in September, after the government had generated nation-wide “feel good” factor with big celebrations for the 60th National Day celebrations on August 31, 2017.
I still cannot understand why it is not possible for the Election Commission to have an efficient and up-to-date voters’ registration system whereby a person can vote after one week, or at least after one month, of registration – instead of taking six long months.
There are still 19 days before the end of March. Why then am I saying that the next two weeks may be the last chance for them to register if they are to be able to vote if 14GE is held in September?
This is because the registration after the next two weeks may not be taken into account for the final revision of the electoral roll to qualify to vote in September.
I had wanted to have the opportunity to meet the Election Commission Chairman and officials to find out why the Election Commission could not have a system where voters can vote after registering for one week, or at most after one month, and not six months at present, before they could cast their vote.
But the Election Commission Chairman is one of the most unco-operative Election Commission Chairman in Malaysian history, as the request of DAP MPs to have a meeting and discussion with him and other Election Commission officials on the electoral system have been turned down.
The Election Commission seems to be the most busy institution in the country, where they don’t even have time to meet MPs and Opposition parties.
I do not know whether the Election Commission Chairman will tell the Prime Minister or UMNO Ministers and leaders that he is too busy to meet them.
No Election Commission Chairman in the past had refused to meet DAP leaders and MPs to discuss the Election Commission’s constitutional duties on the conduct of elections, which is most regrettable, for it seems to indicate that the 14GE is going to be most unfair and undemocratic in the nation’s history.
(Speech in Bukit Gambir, Johor during a one-day visit to Northern Johor to promote “Voters Registration in next two weeks” on Sunday, March 10, 2017 at 3 pm)