PETALING JAYA: Since the general election will not be held before October, the Election Commission should use the next three to six months to clean the electoral roll of phantom voters, said DAP national chairman Lim Kit Siang.
He said that DAP could not accept the commission's flat denial and agreed with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that there should not be much difficulty in tracking phantom voters and cleaning the electoral roll as the commission and other government departments were fully computerised.
Last November, Abdulah said that Barisan Nasional would submit details to the commission for action on 2.8 million voters reportedly transferred to other constituencies.
Lim said the next polls should not be held until a clean electoral roll had been prepared with at least 90% of eligible voters on the register.
The DAP chairman criticised the commission for registering less than 5% of 2.1 million Malaysians who had attained eligibility to register under the round-the-year voter registration process introduced last July. The percentage represented only about 100,000 new voters, excluding 20,000 who applied to change address.
He said at least 50%, if not 60% to 70%, should have been registered, not taking into account the increase in eligible voters since July.
“The commission must seek the help of all political parties, ruling and opposition, non-governmental organisations and society to introduce a new registration system,'' he said, adding that the commission should look at registration systems of other countries.
“In the IT era, there is no reason why the commission cannot create a window of, say a week after dissolution of Parliament, for eligible voters to register,'' he said.
Lim said that commission secretary Wan Ahmad Wan Omar's statement, that those who register less than three months before the dissolution of Parliament and state assemblies would not be eligible to vote, was unsatisfactory and unacceptable in the IT era.
On another issue, Lim said that DAP would seek an appointment with the US ambassador to Malaysia to express the party's opposition to war in Iraq.