1.7 million eligible Malaysians who have yet to register as voters a worrying sign

Press Statement
by John Chung

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The revelation by Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar that 1.7 million Malaysians who are eligible to register as voters have yet to do so is a worrying sign.

Those who have yet to register as voters should realize that it is their constitutional and fundamental right to participate in the democratic process of electing the government. They should not sit on their laurels and wait until the last minute to register in view of the possibility of the next general election being held either at the end of this year or early next year.

If the majority of these 1.7 million Malaysians were to wait until when general election is around the corner, Pos Malaysia and EC may face difficulty coping with the large volume of registrations.

Moreover, it will take three months for the EC to update the names of newly registered voters onto the electoral roll. Those who register late may find themselves missing out on the opportunity to exercise their voting right. The public should not forget the 680,000 Malaysians who were denied the right to vote in the 1999 next general election due to late registration.

Hence, those who have yet to register themselves are urged to register early especially as Pos Malaysia has provided the facilities for year-round online registration. On our part, the DAP will complement the efforts of Pos Malaysia and the EC to encourage more eligible Malaysians to sign up as voters by continuing with our voter registration awareness campaign which was launched last year.


* John Chung, DAP National Publicity Bureau Assistant Secretary