Election Commission should introduce online check of voters without any delay so that voters whose names had been omitted from the electoral roll can register during the current registration exercise


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The Election Commission should introduce online check of voters without any delay so that voters whose names had been omitted from the electoral roll can register during the current registration exercise.

According to one press report, the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Harun Din said that such online check of voters would be introduced next month.

This would be too late to be of help to Malaysians who want to verify their status as voters in view of the widespread occurrence of voters finding out on polling day of elections that their names had been arbitrarily removed from the electoral register. By that time, there was nothing they could do about their disenfranchisement as they would have to wait for the next votersí registration exercise before they could re-register to reinstate their right to vote in elections.

As there is the possibility that the current votersí registration exercise could be the last one before the next general elections, the online votersí check of voters should be introduced immediately to allow voters to check whether their names are still on the electoral roll and to re-register if there had been any arbitrary omissions so that they would not lose the right to vote in the next general elections.

During the meeting with the Election Commission Chairman yesterday, I had tested the programme for online check of voters which had been prepared by the Election Commission. It worked well and was ready to be introduced immediately.

Maybe the Election Commission is thinking of waiting for other programmes and features of a completely new and revamped Election Commission Homepage to be put up, but this would defeat the purpose of making full use of the programme for online check of voters for the current votersí registration exercise, which ends on March 10.

I would therefore suggest that if a new and fully revamped Election Commission Homepage is not ready to be launched immediately, the Election Commission should go ahead to post online the entire electoral roll of 9.3 million voters to provide for online check of voters for the current votersí registration exercise.

Otherwise, the Election Commission would be withholding the immediate use of an online programme which is ready to be launched immediately to provide for a more efficient, convenient and voter-friendly service to the voters - which would be a great pity.

(14/2/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong