EC should allow political party members to be appointed AROs: DAP

GEORGE TOWN: Fewer people are registering as voters after the Election Commission did away with appointing assistant registrar officers (AROs) among political party members, according to the DAP.

Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim said the feedback she and her team obtained was that people found it inconvenient to go to the post office or EC offices to register as these could only be done during working hours.

The Penang DAP Wanita chief said the EC should allow political party members to be appointed as AROs again so more Malaysians can register and exercise their rights.

She said the 2012 decision not to appoint new AROs and extend the period of existing appointments have seen ARO numbers plummet.

She said there were 5,722 AROs nationwide in 2012 but their number dropped to 4,777 and has dwindled to 1,901 in 2013.

"There is an estimated 4.2million Malaysians who are eligible to vote but have not yet registered," she told a press conference today to kick start a year-long DAP voter registration exercise campaign.

The exercise begins on May 8 at the the Kok Lean Coffee Shop and Appolo Market in Bagan where EC officials will be at the counters to register people as voters.

Liew also called for laws to be amended or introduced to make voter registration automatic when a Malaysian reaches a certain age.

"This will cut away a lot of administrative work and reduce costs," she said.