Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Democratic Fervor

In Malaysia, voting during the General Elections is NOT something that is mandatory. Hence as an extension of this then it makes sense that automatic registration of voters is also not ON.

Shouldn’t it though?

It is one thing to be registered, and another to actually vote. For one, you have to be - theoretically, at least, what’s with allegations of Hantu voters popping up every time the election comes – physically present to do the latter.

Apparently, there is an estimated 3.6 million people who are still unregistered as voters.

Huge concern thus. HUGE.

Thus, looking at the response so far from the Barisan Nasional, urm, fellas (EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, excluded, of course) to the Selangor State government’s “SelangorkuBersih” campaign, you’d be forgiven to scratch your head and go: Huh?

The campaign aims to verify the voters listed and, can along the way help to persuade those who haven't registered to do so.

After all, why wouldn’t the Selangor State Government want to help out in registering the still unregistered 600k or so other Selangorians?

If these 600K non registered ones want to, that is.

Since neither voting nor registering as a voter is mandatory, it is really their choice, no?

But if they do wish to do so; and just don’t have neither the opportunity nor the means or the time to put pen to registration papers, then the “Selangorku Bersih” campaign is just plain haven sent.

 As Selangor has the highest number of unregistered voters, surely the EC will relish all the help it can get, shouldn’t it?

Saves the EC to concentrate its efforts on the other 3 million unregistered ones.

Out of curiosity, how does the EC verify the voters’ particulars and voting constituencies?

Take me, for instance.

I registered God knows how long ago as a voter in the Pandan Parliamentary constituency and except for the 2004 General Election, I have not had the opportunity to vote due to work and locality constraints.

Was I ever, urm, verified throughout the three General Elections including those in 1999 and 2008?

Until but recently when I changed my voting particulars, I was still very much a voter in Pandan.

It does seem that the verification of a voter's particulars is very much up to the individual voter’s own efforts, with the EC, urm, facilitating the data entry.

So, how would the EC verify something like this highlighted instance in suspicion arousing duplicating facts?

After all, outside of the particular locality's locals, how will one know who’s who? Asking for someone’s identity papers is just plain criminal for anyone other than  the authorities.

It could well be a sheer stroke of pure coincidence of which the door to door, house to house, “Selangorku Bersih” campaign could help prove and, without a doubt, VERIFY.

Or not, since the voters – any voter for that matter - could also say: “No, I will not allow myself to be verified”.

Or not. Perhaps it’s nothing more than the fervor of DEMOCRATIC IDEALS.

Yep. That’s probably IT. 

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