ROSE’s New Year message: Do your part, register as a voter

Ann Teo

KUCHING, Jan 1: Rise of Social Efforts (ROSE) is calling all rakyat Sarawak, aged 21 years and above, to quickly register themselves on the electoral roll if they want to choose their elected representatives and the government of the day to run Sarawak and Malaysia.

Its chairperson Ann Teo pointed out that registering as a voter to exercise civil and political rights was the very least citizens of Sarawak could do.

“The next Sarawak state election is impending and expected to be called between now and June 2021.

“Therefore as a civil society, we call on all ‘rakyat’ Sarawak aged 21 years and above to quickly register themselves on the electoral roll,” she said in her New Year message today.

As the registration process will take four to six months, Teo emphasised it was imperative to apply to be registered as a voter now if one wished to have a say in the choice of their representatives in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) as well as the state government.

In the last state election in 2016, she reminded that only 43.3 per cent of Sarawak’s population was registered as voters and out of that, only 28.6 per cent went to vote.

“14.7 per cent, although registered as voters, did not go to vote. Statistically therefore, only 28.6 per cent of the population decided the government of the day,” she added.

“Do not let others make the choice for you by default. Our call is especially targeted at young Sarawakians. The future of the wellness of our state is in your hands! Do get yourself registered as a voter at the earliest opportunity,” she urged.

Teo reiterated that people had shared duties and responsibilities to fulfill as all had crucial roles to play in nation-building.

“If you want to know why is the oft heard phrase ‘we often get the government we deserve’… this is what it means,” she said.

At the threshold of a new year and a new decade, she highlighted that it would be prudent for all to reflect upon the past year and do a little SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis on lives; both inner as well as outer ones.

“Whatever the findings may be, it is a good time to once again realign our lives so that our attitude and how we live it matters to the people around us and the wider community in which we live in.

“Only after this reflection can each of us make a commitment or continue our commitment towards what we have been working towards or perhaps a new commitment towards some things that matter,” she said.

On the life of Sarawak and Malaysia, Teo stressed that the leaders must also do the same as people have put them in charge of “our state, our lives and our childrens’ lives and of course the resources of our state”.

As such, she said that it was not too much for people to expect the best out of the leaders in terms of decision-making for progress and accountability.

“We also expect them to do the best for the least of those among us,” she added.

Those who have yet to register as voter can do so by going to any online Post Office anywhere in the country, not only in Sarawak. Alternatively, through any Assistant Registration Officer appointed by the Election Commission (EC) or via online registration.

Those who follow and like ROSE Facebook page will be notified of all the voter registration mobile counters which will be set up in the coming months of this year.

“Finally, we take this opportunity to wish all fellow Sarawakians a very happy and fulfilling New Year 2020!” —DayakDaily