Responsibility of keeping electoral roll clean also lies with NRD, says observers


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 Jun 2013

Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

KUALA LUMPUR: The responsibility of keeping the electoral roll clean lies also with the National Registration Department (NRD), some election observers have said.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said that dubious entries in the roll should not have been allowed through by the NRD.

"If you want to improve the electoral roll, I think the Election Commission (EC) is the wrong entity to criticise.

“Its the NRD we should be looking into," he said at the Bar Council on Saturday.

Wan Saiful said that people who were allegedly not qualified to receive identity cards or citizenship should have gotten them in the first place.

"This is the prerogative of the Home Ministry and the NRD, not the EC," he said.

At the time, Wan was speaking to a small audience at the Bar Council in a forum entitled "Electoral Offences - Righting the Wrongs".

He said that the EC was not the only official body to be held accountable for dubious records in the roll, adding that their hands were "tied up" in this regard.

"We should be questioning how is it that people who are allegedly not qualified to get ICs have ICs," he said.

Lawyer Azhar Azizan Harun said that another problem was the NRD's failure to enforce address changes on Malaysians' MyKads.

“We're supposed to vote where we reside, and that is supposed to be on our IC, but nobody does that,” he said.

He added that if the NRD were to exact these changes for all Malaysians (or voters), the EC would be able to reassign constituencies accordingly.

Azhar estimated that more than half of all Malaysians did not change the addresses on their MyKads, adding that without enforcement, the burden for this tweak fell to ordinary citizens.

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