Election Commission Should Stop Making Excuses, Take Their Job Seriously

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) has yet again proved their incompetence by giving non-answers to block the implementation of automatic voter registration.

Automatic voter registration means that a Malaysian citizen will be automatically registered as a voter when they reach the age of 21.

This hastens the registration process and removes unnecessary barriers to exercising one’s basic democratic right to vote, said Malaysian electoral watchdog, BERSIH 2.0.

In a statement Friday, BERSIH 2.0 said voter registration will be electronically linked to the National Registration Department (NRD), which will eliminate the lack of addresses, duplicate entries, and remove deceased persons and dubious entries from the electoral roll.

Automatic voter registration is a cleaning process to correct a flawed electoral roll and incompetence.

“The EC chairman, Mohd Hashim Abdullah, can only provide a flimsy excuse that “many issues” will arise if automatic voter registration is put into effect, failing to elaborate further.

“What’s more, he fears that the election body will be blamed for problems from changing the system. This is a truly embarrassing excuse as tackling such matters is something that the EC has to handle as it is part of what they are tasked to do.

“If the EC were held back by a fear of repercussions, then nothing will change,” the statement added.

The current system, which Mohd Hashim deems efficient enough, still sees almost four million unregistered eligible voters. The EC’s appalling effort in voter registration leaves much room for improvement.

The questions remains: How many people does the EC register per year? What are they doing to register these four million people?