The Election Commission Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said in Lundu, Sarawak on Sunday the Election Commission is always ready to hold a general election.
He said this when commenting on a viral message on the social media that the Information Department had issued a circular freezing leave for personnel and personal trips abroad from May 1 because of impending 14th General Election.
How can the Election Commission claim that it is ready to hold the 14GE when some 25 per cent of the eligible voters are not registered on the electoral roll and cannot cast their vote in the 14GE if held in September unless they register as voters in the next fortnight – making the current voters’ registration the final voters’ registration exercise if the 14GE is held by September as the Election Commission requires some six months before they could process and finalize a voter on the electoral roll?
There are 17.6 million eligible voters but over four million of them are not registered on the electoral roll which comes to some 25 per cent of the eligible voters not able to cast their vote if 14GE is held in September unless they are registered in the next two weeks.
The Election Commission Chairman and Members should have their salaries and perks slashed by 25 per cent as they are unable to register 25% of the eligible voters on the electoral roll. This is indeed shocking incompetence and ineptitude.
Since I was first elected into 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 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 placed on the electoral roll to allow a voter to cast his or her vote – resulting in a scandalous situation where over four million out of 17.6 million eligible Malaysian voters are not on the electoral roll with the right to vote in elections.
I 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. This should be the KPI for the appointment of Chairman and members of the Election Commission.
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 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 – but they are unable to register over four million eligible Malaysian voters!
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 at the coffee-shop ceramah at Kajang to promote “Voters Registration in next two weeks” on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 8 pm)