(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): A DAP delegation, comprising DAP National Vice Chairmen, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw and Ahmad Nor, Deputy Secretary-General Abdul Muluk Daud, National Organising Secretary Tan Kok Wai, my political secretary Foo Yueh Chuan and myself met the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Harun Din at the Election Commission in Kuala Lumpur this morning to discuss the current votersí registration exercise.
We discussed with Datuk Harun Din how the Election Commission could make use of Information Technology to have a more voter-friendly system to ensure the maximum registration of eligible voters, as although there are now 9.3 million voters on the electoral roll, there are about one million eligible voters of all ages whose names are not in the electoral register.
Harun Din informed us that the Election Commission would launch in the next few days an online votersí verification system, where the 9.3 million-voter electoral roll would be available on-line on the Election Commission homepage and voters could check their voter status online and 24 hours a day from their homes or offices.
We were shown the preparations which have been made to introduce such an online votersí verification system, and I tested the system myself, which uses the identity card number as the basis for verification.
I am very impressed by what the Election Commission had done and when such a system is introduced in the next few days, the Election Commission would be a leader among government departments and agencies in using information technology to provide better and faster services to the public.
In our meeting, we also discussed the possibility of introducing on-line registration of voters as well as electronic voting.
As the current votersí registration exercise could be the last before the next general elections, we suggested that the 30-day votersí registration exercise should be extended to 42 days as permitted by the law, for two reasons: (I) lack of pre-publicity before the launching of the exercise; and (ii) to ensure maximum registration of the eligible one million voters not on the electoral roll.
I hope the Election Commission will give the proposal to extend the registration to full 42 days favourable consideration as the maximum registration of eligible voters is an essential condition for the proper functioning of the parliamentary democratic system.