KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Election Commission (EC) should update its system to allow voters to register online and as late as one month before elections, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang suggested today.
The Opposition party’s parliamentary leader noted EC chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah had acknowledged there is over four million unregistered voters to date and said the use of new technology would help smoothen the process.
“It is time that the Election Commission revamp its IT capabilities and facilities to introduce automatic registration of voters or at least ensure that voters who are registered one month before the elections can vote at the 14GE,” he said in a statement.
He described the current process that sees the electoral roll updated after six months as “backward and regressive”, pointing out that other countries have embraced technology that enables their citizens to register just a day before voting.
“When will the Election Commission in Malaysia catch up with the times as far as the voters’ registration is concerned?” he asked.
He also suggested for the EC to send out a public appeal to IT experts for help if it was incapable of revamping its facilities so Malaysians can vote in the 14th general elections widely speculated will happen by September even though it is only due by August 2018.
The Gelang Patah MP also said that Malaysia is heading towards becoming a failed state due to the increasing number of public service systems or institutions breaking down.
As examples, he cited the recent “technical error” as given by minister in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said for the reappearance of an older version of a controversial private member’s Bill to enhance the Shariah courts’ powers and the sudden suspension of the Public Service Department’s online medical dispensary to federal pensioners.
“I have never said Malaysia is a failed state. But unless we pull up our socks, we are in the trajectory of hurtling towards a failed and rogue state,” the veteran lawmaker warned.