Many Malays have not registered as voters

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 Feb 2003

THE Malays are not coming forward to register as voters as they feel they already have political power, said a report in Utusan Malaysia yesterday. 

They have the notion that political power will continue to be in their hands and the Government will care of their needs, including registering them as voters, the paper quoted Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman as saying. 

“They have become complacent because of the power they hold and such an attitude is difficult to change,” he said, elaborating on his remarks in an interview with the paper’s Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia

In that interview, Abdul Rashid said 1.7 million people eligible to vote had yet to register with the EC, adding he believed about 90% of them were Malays. 

He said at least 65% of eligible Malay voters should have been registered but only 55% had done so. 

The EC chairman said the “absence” of the remaining 10% of Malay voters raised the question: Why have they not registered?  

He added that the breakdown of voters was obtained from the National Statistics Department. 

Abdul Rashid said Malay-based political strength had taken Malays to a comfort zone which made them take a disinterested stance on voter registration.  

He said he had almost reached the “give up” point and did not know what else the EC could do. 

“Are they waiting for us to coax them into registering by preparing everything for them?” he asked. 

He said as far as the EC was concerned, it had done its best to register them as voters. 

“We even introduced a year-round registration exercise where all they had to do was to register at post offices,” he added. 

The daily also quoted Malaysian Muslim Youth Organisation president Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman as saying the Malays were disappointed over the PAS-Umno squabble. 

“It is a factor which can lead to poor response from Malays.”  

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