If the 680,000 new voters who have been undemocratically and unconstitutionally deprived of their right to vote could cast their votes on Nov. 29, they would have played a decisive role in determining the outcome of the general election in 75 - 80 seats, as they would constitute some seven per cent of the national electorate.
Without the 680,000 new voters, most of whom are young Malaysians who have just come of age, and who are more likely to vote Barisan Alternative for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance rather than the Barisan Nasionalís undemocratic record of human rights violations, injustices and abuses of power, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would feel more comfortable about retaining the two-thirds parliamentary majority in the general election.
The disenfranchisement of the 680,000 new voters not only highlights the lack of independence, credibility and professionalism of the Election Commission but a major element in the Barisan Nasional strategy to make the tenth general election the "dirtiest" in the nationís history.
This is why the 680,000 new voters who have become the latest victims of undemocratic and unconstitutional abuses of power in Malaysia should come forward to make their protests heard.
Although they cannot cast their votes to choose the elected representatives, whether in Parliament or State Assembly, the 680,000 disenfranchised voters can still help to influence the election campaign by ensuring that the injustice that they have suffered should be an important consideration for the 9.6 million voters when they decide how they are to cast their votes on Nov. 29, 1999.