URBAN Malays would rather go on a picnic or travel somewhere else than go to the polling station to cast their votes, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
This was among the excuses they gave for not exercising their voting right, mainstream Malay papers quoted him as saying during a media conference in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Speaking on the voter trend, the EC chairman said the majority of eligible Malay voters in the urban areas were not registered.
Abdul Rashid, who had earlier delivered a lecture at an Information Ministry gathering, said there were 1.1 million unregistered Malays nationwide, of whom 400,000 are from the Klang Valley.
The response from urban Malays had been poor despite the prolonged voter registration exercise, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.
On the other hand, Abdul Rashid said 90% of urban Chinese had come out to exercise their right to vote.
He said among the non-Malays, some 600,000 eligible voters had not yet registered and only about 50,000 were from the Klang Valley.
The rural Malays, in contrast with their urban counterparts, were concerned about local politics and were expected to come out in droves to cast their votes.
Abdul Rashid said in Kelantan and Terengganu, for instance, past elections showed that 85% of eligible voters turned out to cast their ballots on polling day.
Utusan Malaysia also carried a front-page report that assured voters of fine weather should the elections be held this month.
The paper, quoting the Meteorological Services Department, said sunny weather would prevail throughout March while the northeast monsoon is expected to start in April.