Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Step Backwards For Nazri

EC Should Look Into Automatic Registration Says Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said today that the Election Commission (EC) should seriously consider looking into an automatic voter registration system.

His remarks come despite the fact that the government announced this morning in Parliament that it had no plans to introduce an automatic voter registration system.

“I’ve always been keen, pro-auto registration. The EC should look into this. Of course it will take some time and effort, but I feel that this is necessary,” he told The Malaysian Insider in Parliament.

Khairy, who is also Rembau MP, asserted that the issue here was how to find ways to make voting easier for future voters.

He said that he did not quite agree with the government’s stand on the matter, and would discuss it with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak soon.

“The issue here is not whether they (voters) should be registering or not. Their choice should be whether they want to vote, or otherwise,” he added.

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government would continue with the existing procedures and policies and would not force the people to exercise their rights. - The Malaysian Insider , 18 March


Actually, Nazri Aziz didn't really look further into automating the registration process. As the EC Chairman said, part of the reason would be on cost-saving. And on the voters side, it is meant to eliminate the hassle to go to the post office or any state EC office to register.

In a week after I hit 21 in November 2005, I immediately went to the EC office in Ipoh and told the staff on duty that I duly wished to register as a voter. That is at that time, I have plenty of time and still clearly remembered what to do when hitting 21.

Let's say you are busy with other things, maybe your studies and you just hit 21. After a while, you might not remember your right to vote because you are too busy in doing other commitments. The more things you are doing in succession, you will end up forgetting.

The 4 million plus unregistered but eligible people to vote is worrying for the EC and what Khairy said about automating registration makes it easier since the EC voter's database can link up with the National Registry Database and can do register itself. It's not to say undemocratic, but it solves problems by killing birds in one stone.

Why are you moving backwards, Nazri? Are you not aware of this or is this for political mileage?

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