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Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Political parties and citizens’ groups must work collectively to increase new voter registration heading into the general election, said Bangi lawmaker Ong Kian Ming.

The DAP man said only 182,061 from an estimated half a million eligible voters were added to the electoral roll from Q4 2020 and Q2 2021.

He lauded the Election Commission (EC) for launching an online voter registration platform via MyDaftarSPR website in July 2019, but said more must be done to publicise this.

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected registration activities, Ong said additional effort must be taken to address potential voter apathy and safety concerns.

“These low new voter registration rates may be a signal that the younger generation of eligible voters in Malaysia feels more disconnected with the political system than before. They may also be concerned about venturing out to go to the post office to register to vote, for example.

“And many of them may not be aware that they can register as voters online because of insufficient publicity for this registration method. Political parties and NGOs would also not have been able to do their voter registration exercises at shopping malls and pasar malams and other places with high foot traffic,” he said in a statement today.

He noted that some states have even experienced a net decrease in voter number due to death, lost of citizenship and imprisonment.

“For example, Perlis and Labuan experienced a net decrease in the number of voters in the electoral roll in all three of the quarters surveys. Kedah experienced a nett decrease of 486 voters in Q2 2021, Penang experienced a nett decrease of 43 voters in Q2 2021, Perak experienced a nett decrease of 1020 and 842 voters respectively in Q1 and Q2 2021, KL experienced a nett decrease of 1575 and 1910 voters respectively in Q1 and Q2 2021, Negri Sembilan experienced a nett decrease of 143 voters in Q2 2021.

“Melaka experienced a net decrease of 601 and 820 voters respectively in Q4 2020 and Q2 2021, Johor experienced a net decrease of 650 and 1646 voters in Q4 2020 and Q2 2021,” he added.

The previous general election was held in 2018 and the next must be held by 2023.

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