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KUCHING, July 9: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice-chairwoman Voon Shiak Ni opines that the automatic registration of voters and the lowering of voting age to 18-years-old is a positive development by the government towards electoral democratisation in Malaysia.
“The people-friendly move taken by the federal government to heed the calls by rights groups and civil societies for automatic registration as voters when they reach voting age to enable a free and fair elections process come as a relief to many especially those who had struggled and fought hard for the cause,” she said in a statement.
“For a decade, hundreds of thousands of Malaysians have thronged the streets in Bersih rallies to demand for free and fair elections and one of the thrust of the demands is the call for automatic registration of voters.”
Voon pointed it out that with this approval for automatic registration, it not only serves to enable everyone to exercise their right to vote but also takes off a big chunk of work in reaching out to Malaysians to register them as voters .
She said that in Sarawak, the Rise of Sarawak Efforts (Rose) had for the past 5 years made strenous efforts to register voters across Sarawak.
“I sincerely record our highest appreciation for the group’s effort as in Sarawak, due to the issue of logistics, there are many unregistered voters,” she added.
According to Voon, in Malaysia as of date, there are about 3.8 million people who have yet to be registered as voters and it is not uncommon to find one who has reached the age of 40 and has yet to cast their first vote .
“We applaud the positive move by the federal government to approve automatic registration of voters who have attained eligible voting age and I view it not only as a people-friendly approach policy but also as a show of respect for basic human rights and the principles of democracy,” she said. — DayakDaily