Monday, December 28, 2009

EC must not harp on the problem but to implement the solution.

A NST report on Thursday has stated that the number of total voters should have been more than 16 million , but because of apathy, Malaysia has only about 11 million registered voters.

Selangor has the most unregistered voters with 787,500 , followed by Johor.(605,000). Other states with large numbers of unregistered voters are Perak with 527,000, Sarawak (475,000), Kuala Lumpur (350,000), Kedah (317,000) and Sabah (280,000).

Election Commission ( EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the numbers would be higher considering about 450,000 people reached the eligible voting age each year.The statistics revealed are not surprising at all , neither is the revelation something new. Malaysians have often read reports about EC's consistent failures to register new voters.

In fact, In November last year, Wan Ahmad revealed that there will be two million young people who will be eligible to vote at the next general election, in addition to the 4 million who did not register before the 2008 general election. 4 million then constituted about 25 % of the total number of registered voters.

The NST report also quoted Wan Ahamd as saying, “If there are no serious efforts to create awareness of the importance of registering as voters, the number will increase.?“The ‘I-couldn’t-care-less’ attitude or failure to understand the importance of voting are the main causes of this problem.”

But other than stating the causes and problem , why has the EC not proposed an effective solution to overcome the problem?

What ever that are being done today to register new voters were done before the 2008 general election. All year round registration by the EC as well as assistance provided by political parties to increase awareness and to register the voters were carried out but these efforts met with limited success.

Although more people are expected to register as general election approaches but it will take a miracle for EC to be able to register 90 % of qualified citizens as new voters.

The effective and only solution is for the EC to introduce automatic registration of voters.

If the EC is serious about ensuring that qualified citizens will become registered voters , it must push for the automatic registration of voters.

Political apathy could be the obvious problem , but automatic registration is the effective solution. Why does EC keep harping on the problem and not implement the solution?

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