DAP calls for polling day on November 29 to be declared a public holiday to encourage highest possible  voter turn-out to demonstrate proper and effective functioning of parliamentary democracy

Penang DAP Deepavali reception
Lim Kit Siang 

(Penang,  Friday): The Election Commission should explain why it has chosen November 29, which is a Monday, to be the  polling day, and not a Saturday like 4th December so that it would be most convenient for the 9.6 million voters to exercise their basic right to vote and  choose the government and the elected representatives they want to determine their political future for the next five years.

The constitutional task of the Election Commission is to conduct a free and fair general election and to ensure that the most number of eligible voters would be able to cast their votes.

However, in choosing a Monday to be a polling day, the Election Commission appears to be discouraging a maximum turnout of voters as it is a working  day.

DAP calls on the government to declare polling day on November 29, 1999 as a public holiday to encourage the highest possible voter turn-out to demonstrate the proper and efferctive functioning of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

Already, the Election Commission has been a great disappointment, as it seems to be helping to fulfil the prediction by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the next general election would be the "dirtiest" in the nationís 42-year history.

The short nine-day election campaign period and the disenfranchisement of 650,000 new voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote in the tenth general election have reinforced grave doubts about the independence, credibility and authority of the Election Commission.

I call on the 650,000 new voters who registered six months ago in April/May to come forward, organise themselves and support the Barisan Alternative to show their protest and anger at their disenfranchisement and denial of basic citizenship rights on November 29.

It is outrageous that the 650,000 new voters o cannot cast their votes as the Election Commission needs nine months to prepare the new electoral roll and yet the Election Commission wants the general election to be completed in nine days!  It is time that the 650,000 disenfranchised new voters  come forward to teach the Barisan Nasional a lesson in democracy!


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