Bersih kicks off campaign to encourage voter registration


KUALA LUMPUR: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 took to the ground to encourage more people to register as voters as part of a campaign to boost voter registration.

The nationwide campaign kicked off in several locations today including Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Sabah and Kedah.

Former Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan campaigned at the Pudu Sentral entrance and even escorted those who wanted to register as voters to the nearest post office where she waited until they completed the registration process.

“We want as many people to register before the end of the month because we don’t know when the next general election (GE14) will be held.”

In Kuantan, Pahang, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah led the campaign at the Kuantan Urban Transformation Centre (UTC). The campaign was also held in Donggongon and Inanam, Sabah as well as Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah and Jitra in Kedah.

Ambiga said the campaign was aimed at showing people how quick and easy it was to register as a voter.

“Perhaps many feel it is a tedious process, but as we saw for ourselves, the registration process took under five minutes after a person’s queue ticket number was called.”

Meanwhile, Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Mandeep Singh said the campaign was necessary as the Election Commission (EC) had discontinued the Assistant Registrar Officer (ARO) status of NGOs and political parties in 2013.

He added that Bersih was willing to help the EC register voters and had recently requested for the ARO status.

Mandeep said Bersih sent a letter of request on Feb 28 and were awaiting the EC’s response.

Yesterday, the EC said that as of February, a total of 4.1 million eligible Malaysians had yet to register as voters, with the majority being those around the age of 21.

Mandeep said this was all the more reason for the EC to grant Bersih the ARO status as they could mobilise their volunteers to help with voter registration nationwide.

EC: Over 4 million unregistered voters around 21 years of age