SMS to check voters’ status should not become a profit making business

Media Statement
Chong Eng

(Bukit Mertajam, Wednesday): The Election Commission (EC) announced yesterday that Malaysians who have registered as voters can now check their status and voting area through the short messaging service (SMS). However, the service is not free and they have to pay RM1.00 per SMS. 

DAP welcomes the provision of this service for public to check their voting status. It shows that the EC is IT-minded. However, as the EC is a public agency entrusted to provide better service, it should not turn any checking service into a profit making business.


EC Secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said RM1.00 is “nothing”. But it is obvious that Teracure Technologies Sdn Bhd is going to reap a handsome profit out of every voter who utilizes the service, which is no small sum.


Wan Ahmad defended the “higher than usual” service charge by giving excuses that the EC also provide free of charge services like telephone hotline and website for voters to check their status.


Since checking through SMS would reduce the workload of the EC, compared to calling in by phone or checking over the counter, the service should be free so as to encourage voters to use the service.


It was reported by Sin Chew Jit Poh today that Dacon Telecommunication (M) Sdn Bhd has launched SMS translation service. The charge for each call is 60 sen. How could the EC, a public department, charge 40% more than a profit making company?


DAP wants the EC to explain to the public why it agreed to the RM1.00 charge and whether the EC is getting anything out of it. 



* Chong Eng, DAP Wanita Chairperson and MP for Bukit Mertajam