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Maria Chin: Expedite MyKad applications, even if no polls

 | May 29, 2017

Bersih chief also repeats call for automatic voter registration.

Maria-ChinPETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah says the National Registration Department (JPN) should be facilitating people’s applications for the MyKad regardless of whether elections are around the corner.

“It is an important document that people need (to get things done), ranging from driving to admission to college, opening bank accounts to voting,” Maria told FMT.

She said she does not know why JPN had sped up the process now but added that “we should ask them”.

JPN previously denied that a new programme which reduces the processing period for the issuance of MyKad had anything to do with the coming general election (GE14), which must be called by the middle of next year.

JPN director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli said the MyKad Distributed Printing Hub (DPP Hub) was “purely a value-added programme to quicken the MyKad delivery in a short time with low expenses”, The Borneo Post reported.

With the DPP Hub, Yazid said the time taken for processing MyKad applications would be shortened from 10 working days to five in Peninsular Malaysia, and from 30 working days to seven in Sabah and Sarawak.

According to The Borneo Post, Sabah alone saw a 60.74% increase in the use of the DPP Hub between April 17 and May 23.

JPN statistics reveal that Kota Kinabalu printed/issued 1,373 MyKad within this period, followed by Ranau (477), Kudat (379), Tuaran (306), Kota Belud (261), Tawau (252) Beaufort (183), Inanam (132), Lahad Datu (116), Pitas (90) and Kuala Penyu (89).

On a separate issue, Maria asked why in this day and age, and with the numerous technological advances available, JPN and the Election Commission (EC) had not improved the voter registration process.

She said it would be good to speed up the process as elections were near and there are still 3.8 million potential voters who are not registered.

Maria said automatic registration would enable new voters to be registered with minimal objections and allow their details to be constantly updated.

“It will also eliminate dead voters, repetition of voters in many places and illegal transfer of voters as the IC registration goes by place of residence, as stipulated in NRD laws,” she said.

Former EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said at the moment, voter registration is done four times each year.

At the end of each quarter, it takes about a month to process the list of applicants. The EC opens the list to public scrutiny for 14 days, at the end of which it carries out hearings for any objections. This in turn takes two to three weeks.

“So we are talking about close to four and a half months for someone to be a confirmed registered voter,” Wan Ahmad told FMT.

“And sometimes this also depends on how fast the EC processes this.”



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