Never too late to register to vote

ALMOST all voters will accept the advice of the Election Commission that it's never too late to register to vote.

About 3.8 million Malaysians had not registered to vote as at last September. Why have the largely young eligible voters not exercised their responsibility? Is it indifference? Do they see no difference between policies of the government and the opposition? Do they see no differences between the quality, performance, commitment to serve sincerely and honestly, among all politicians? Then why not register to vote for the candidates and not the parties?

There are many political leaders who are just, fair and dedicated to serve their voters. Of course there are "dirty politicians". But that does not mean that we should abdicate our sacred responsibility to register to vote or spoil our votes.

Spoiling the votes is destructive and disruptive to the election exercise.

We appeal to those who have not registered or who plan to spoil their votes to support and strengthen the electoral process and to enhance our democracy.

Please rush to the nearest post office or EC office to register.

The EC must go all out to win over those who have not registered. It could for instance:
» Employ more registrars and assistants.
» Step up its promotion campaign.
» Educate eligible voters to fulfil their duty.
» Take it as a challenge to achieve higher voter targets and less vote spoiling.
» Ensure that the independence of the EC is maintained.
» Counter the claims of gerrymandering and mal-appropriation of votes.
It's never too late to register to vote and please don't boycott the elections or spoil your vote.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
Asli Centre for Public Policy Studies