KUALA LUMPUR: Women should exercise their voting rights in the upcoming elections to ensure that their rights and progressive status are maintained, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
“We have seen that in many areas, about 20% to 25% of the total number of registered voters do not come out to vote during elections.
“For instance, if the area has a population of 70,000 voters, those who are absent make up a significant number and this largely comprises women,” she said.
Rafidah said most women felt that they did not need to register as voters as they did not think that their votes counted.
“But if a large number of women share the same sentiment, it will result in lack of support,” she told reporters after opening a Women’s Aspect Competition, organised in conjunction with the Gombak Setia Association’s 50th anniversary yesterday.
Rafidah said women should be reminded that without a government that advocated pro-women policies, women would not be able to benefit from the successes and progress achieved today.
“They must remember that the Barisan government has formulated policies to aid women and family development in various fields,” she added.
Asked if the wing had strategies to woo these voters, Rafidah said it operated at grassroots level and would only need to remind people of Barisan Nasional’s success via talks when they “go down to the ground”.
She also said the movement was in the process of checking the details of voters in certain areas to ensure that those voters exist at their registered address.
“We find that the are many who have moved out from their homes without updating their addresses. The number can go up to the thousands.
“These details will be compiled and submitted to the Election Commission to avoid the incidence of phantom voters during elections,” she said.