Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak Press Statement
Saturday, 6th November, 2010
Many voter registrations forms submitted to the Election Commission in Sarawak has yet to be approved after 4 months – the official period required for registering a voter. The forms recorded to have been submitted range from December last year to June this year, mainly registrations from interior areas of Sarawak where voter registration rates are very low compared to the average 33.6% of Sarawak or 28% nationally. In many cases the rates of voter registration go below 50%, casting grave doubt on the adequacy of representation of any poll held in these constituencies.
Eg in Batang Ai the registered voters number 8000, compared to 22 000 population. In Belaga there are only 7000 voters among a population of close to 23 000. In Lawas the voter base is only 6000, out of a population of over 30 000.
A set of voters forms which had been submitted, as mentioned above, have been monitored and it was found to have received less than 10% approval rates. These forms are from Sungai Asap, Ulu Baram, Lawas and Selangau areas. They have been mainly submitted through Assistant Registrars of SADIA and PKR party. Enquiries to the Election Commission office in Kuching were met with flippant technical replies that the forms were incomplete or that non-citizens are involved.
However from the general profiles of applicants those cases are minority and can not possibly explain why the bulk of the forms were rejected.
It reflect a less than user-friendly practice from the Election Commission to fail to inform those who submit the forms on the reasons for rejections when it involve the bulk of the forms submitted, taking into consideration of the difficulties to register these residents of Sarawak’s interior where mobility is hampered by lack of roads, bad roads, costly and time-consuming travel. The voting rights of the these citizens as guaranteed under the Constitution did not seems to be taken seriously enough by the authority.
The traceable numbers of forms submitted include the following:137 in March; 225 in June. Full list of these applicants are available/ attached. There were also a significant number of forms of close to 100 each, from the above areas which had been submitted from December last year –but the exact number cannot be ascertained currently. For the forms registered since 2007 from Lawas 1/3 were rejected, amounting to 157. Full list of the applicants is available/ attached.
Appeal to the Election Commission
We call upon the Election Commission to make a thorough check on why these applicants are rejected if they had been. Further we call upon the Election Commission to make it a practice to inform the Assistant Registrars concerned on the reasons of rejection if indeed they had been rejected. We also call upon the Election Commission to disclose the rejection rates of all voter application forms in the country especially in Sarawak where there would be a state election by July next year.
Attached Documents : –
Mar Voter Registration-final
List of Lawas unregistered applicants 2007-2010
June Voter Registrations-final