Malaysia not ready for automatic voter registration, EC chairman says

EC Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the commission did not want to be blamed for any problems arising from any changes related to voter registration. — Picture by Choo Choy May
EC Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the commission did not want to be blamed for any problems arising from any changes related to voter registration. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The extra-sensitive job scope of the Election Commission is among the factors for Malaysia not being ready to implement the automatic voter registration system. 

EC Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the commission did not want to be blamed for any problems arising from any changes related to voter registration. 

“There may be some things which we do not deem serious, but is taken seriously by certain parties. Especially when we make changes. If we are not prepared, but we proceed to do the changes, then many issues will arise,” he said. 

Mohamad Hashim said this when appeared as a guest in the Slot Khas Ekspresi programme on Bernama Radio today, discussing the topic of “Voting and the Responsibility of a Citizen”. 

He said although there had been calls for the EC to have an automatic voter registration system, the EC was confident that the present system was still efficient. 

On the redelineation of electoral boundaries, Mohd Hashim said the EC only took into account relevant protests which were submitted by voters in the affected constituencies. 

“The EC will look at the exercise comprehensively and classify them as relevant or not. If the protest is about areas which are not affected, then, they shouldn’t protest, we will reject it,” he said.  On March 8, the EC published a proposal for redelineation for Peninsular Malaysia and all parties were given one month from March 8 until April 7 to submit their protests. 

Local inquiries held throughout the country were a necessity for the redelineation, and were conducted from Oct 31, 2016 until Feb 28 this year. — Bernama

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