KUALA LUMPUR: The National Registration Department (NRD) should share the responsibility of keeping the country’s electoral roll clean, said polls observers.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said dubious entries in the roll should not have been allowed through by the department.
“If you want to improve the electoral roll, I think the Election Commission (EC) is the wrong entity to criticise.
“It is the NRD that we should be looking into,” he said at a forum entitled “Electoral Offences – Righting the Wrongs” held at the Bar Council here yesterday.
Those who were allegedly not qualified to receive identity cards or citizenship should not have gotten them in the first place, said Wan Saiful.
“This is the prerogative of the Home Ministry and the department, and not the EC,” he said.
The EC, added Wan Saiful, was not the only official body to be held accountable for dubious records in the roll, adding that their hands were “tied up” on this matter.
“We should be questioning how is it that people, who are allegedly not qualified to get ICs, have ICs,” he said.
Lawyer cum blogger Azhar Azizan Harun said another problem was the department’s failure in enforcing address changes on MyKad.
“We’re supposed to vote where we reside and that is supposed to be on our IC but nobody does that,” he said.
If the department was to impose these changes for Malaysians or voters, Azhar said the EC would then be able to reassign constituencies accordingly.
He estimated that over half of all Malaysians did not change the addresses on their MyKad, adding that without enforcement, the burden to alter the addresses would fall on ordinary citizens.
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