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Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh
Timur Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 5th February
Election Commission should conduct a final three-week voter-registration campaign to enable more eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote as it is scandalous that there are four million eligible but unregistered voters
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 hewould 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.
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman