KUCHING: Political parties in Sarawak are making efforts to ensure a good voter turnout.
For Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), its component parties are going to the ground to meet voters and provide them with the relevant information to facilitate the voting process.
“Our women’s wing, not only of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) but also our partners in GPS, have been asked to identity the voters in each polling district by various means and inform them where their voting centre is and the voting time,” PBB Women’s chief Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said.
She noted that while there are people who would come out to vote on their own, others needed to be persuaded.
GPS comprises PBB, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
In Sibu, Lanang GPS plans to arrange transport to help voters get to their polling centres on Nov 19.
“We will have transport ready, particularly for the elderly who need help,” said its chief coordinator Joseph Chieng.
Meanwhile, the Siswa Balik initiative is running the #JuhBalitNgundi campaign to help Sarawakian students travel home to vote.
Siswa Balik co-founder Luqman Al-Hakim said the initiative has raised RM23,000 of its RM50,000 target so far and received 326 applications from Sarawakian students.
“We are still vetting the applications to see whether they are eligible for our aid. My main concern regarding GE15 is that many students have difficulty returning home to vote and that the youth voter turnout will be low,” he said.
Luqman said Siswa Balik’s main goal is to call on the Election Commission (EC) to allow outstation students to vote by post or at their respective higher learning institutions.
“We cannot rely on temporary solutions like giving assistance for travel. Where is the government’s commitment to Undi18? They should make voting as accessible as possible. The students’ voice is also the rakyat’s voice and most of them are first-time voters in this election,” he added.
In last December’s Sarawak state election, the turnout was 60.67%.