Monday, February 1, 2010

6 million new voters can make a difference for Pakatan Rakyat and Malaysia

The 2008 general election saw the unprecedented electoral victory by the Opposition whereby the Barisan Nasional ( BN) traditional parliamentary majority was finally smashed.

The people power exhibited through the ballots had also enabled the Opposition to win state power in Kelantan, Penang , Perak , Kedah and Selangor.

Official statistics have revealed that in the 2008 general election, 4 million voters could not exercise their constitutional right to vote simply because they were not registered voters.

4 million constituted about 25 % of the then eligible voters. As young voters tend to favour the Opposition, one can imagine the greater electoral defeat that BN would have been dealt with had all these eligible citizens signed themselves up as voters and had voted.
In November last year, the Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar revealed that there would be two million young people who would be eligible to vote at the next general election, in addition to the 4 million who did not register before the 2008 general election.

However, going by past registration results , I am not confident that the EC can meet much success in its new efforts to register the eligible citizens

I therefore repeat the DAP's call that the EC should introduce automatic registration of voters. I also reiterate that there is no justifiable reason or valid ground for the EC not to do so .In a parliamentary reply to my question , the EC has said that Malaysia is a " highly mobile society" and hence there will be frequent change of addresses which are not updated on their MyKad. This is a mere excuse

If this is the problem for automatic registration of voters, then it is also a problem for non automatic registration too. Is the EC saying that the people's failure to update their address is a technical problem that is insurmountable?The second reason given was that automatic registration contains the force or compulsion factor which is against the Malaysia 's democracy as well as the Federal Constitution. This is a ridiculous reason as I cannot see how automatic registration of voters can be interpreted as such.There are countries which have implemented compulsory voting, yet the EC is still trying to argue against compulsory registration!

Pakatan Rakyat has made " Road to Putrajaya " our mission in the next general election which is expected to be held within the next 18 months. There is also a possibility that the Perak State Assembly will be dissolved earlier than the Parliament..

Hence, all Perakians and Malaysians who have yet to register as voters should register as soon as possible.

6 million is not a small figure and is not just a number or statistics. 6 million votes represent people power which can make a difference in the coming general election.

As such, I call on all qualified youths who have yet to register themselves to do so as to make a difference for PR and Malaysia through the power of their ballots in the next general election.

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