KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — With the 13th general election drawing closer, the DAP has planned a massive voter registration drive in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur this weekend, hoping to expand its urban vote bank in the two opposition strongholds.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua (picture) told a press conference today that the party hopes to register at least 10,000 of the estimated 737,000 new eligible voters in both areas during the two-day drive.
The party will set up booths in 12 strategic locations this weekend, including Puchong, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Serdang, Pandan, Sekinchan, Klang, Kepong and Kajang.
“This is the first time we are holding such a large-scale drive like this. Previously, we set up our booths and hope that people come to us,” he said.
This time, Pua said, the party planned on drawing more support through the use of heavy advertising in the mainstream media.
“We want to attract even more people. Our target is to register at least 10,000 new voters.
“During our meeting with the Election Commission (EC), we were told that there are at least 737,000 new eligible voters in Selangor and the FT who are yet to be registered,” he said.
Pua revealed that according to EC’s figures, a total of 175,997 new voters were registered in the final quarter of last year.
Of the number, the DAP registered 22,589, of whom 7,543 were registered in Selangor and KL.
“In January to April this year, the DAP registered 7,222 new voters in Selangor alone,” he added.
Pua said the EC also estimates that there are at least four million unregistered eligible voters in the country.
“Malaysians have the power to determine their destiny and future, but currently the democratic process is hampered by bureaucracy and interference by certain authorities.
“The political parties have no choice but to try to alleviate the chronic situation by conducting their own registration exercises,” he said.
Pua also reminded that the voter registration process was “long and tedious”, pointing out that at least four to six months are needed for every voter to be included in the electoral roll.
“This is because the registrations are only processed quarterly (every three months) and the time period for objections has to be factored in too.
“Only when the new registrations are approved can they be gazetted and added to the electoral roll.
“Therefore, we would like to urge all eligible Malaysians to register to vote as soon as possible, to ensure that they exercise their right as citizens and have a say in choosing the government they desire,” he said.
Pua also complained of the EC’s high administrative cost of RM13.81 to register one voter.
At such a cost, he added, a total of RM55.24 million would be needed to register the four million unregistered voters.
This, he said, contrasts sharply with the RM1 paid to assistant registrars (political party members who are authorised by the EC to register new voters).
“It is obvious that the EC’s outreach activities such as mobile counters are inefficient and not at all cost-effective.
“To date, the EC’s track record is dismal and unsatisfactory,” he said.
Pua also reiterated the DAP’s suggestion to implement automatic registration, noting that this would help cut cost.
The DAP’s drive will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Metro Point, Kajang (11am-9pm), Waterfront, Desa Parkcity (10am-8pm), Klang Parade (10am-10pm), Kuala Kubu Baru market (8.30am-10.30am), Pandan Perdana morning market (Saturday, 8am-11am), Taman Muda market (Sunday, 8am-11am), First floor, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya (10am-10pm), PJ Digital Mall (10am-9pm), Puchong IOI Mall (10am-10.30pm), Sheng Hui restaurant, Sekinchan (8am-12pm), Mines Shopping Centre (11am-9pm) and Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya (10am-10pm).
MORE TO COME