Hush! The EC is working discreetly
The EC has made changes to the voter registration so silently and discreetly that nobody is aware of it.
The DAP MPs said that they were not aware of the changes as it was not made public, adding that four changes were made over the last six months and this is affecting the party’s registration drive.
“We sent more than 500 registration forms that were all rejected as the forms did not include a photocopy of the IC,” Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said at a press conference here today.
Tan added that he called EC’s Federal Territory chief ShafieTaib demanding an explanation over the matter this morning.
Shafie said that a written notice informing of the change was ready today. However, there was no notice on when it will be made public.
Tan said that he learnt that the EC had a meeting during which this new criterion was discussed and agreed upon.
“The EC met on Sept 27 and this new ruling was to take effect from Oct 1. However, no notice was given to the public, political parties, NGOs or government agencies which assist in voter registration,” he said.
He said that he learnt from an EC source that the reason for this new requirement was three-fold: to avoid registration of the deceased on the electoral roll; to prevent registration of non-citizens; and to avoid registration of the underage as voters.
Seputeh MP, Teresa Kok, who was also at the press conference, said the 500 forms were collected over the last two to three weeks from five DAP service centres in Kuala Lumpur.
Kok said that it would cause the party more time now to go back to the registered person’s individual homes to obtain a photocopy of the IC.
“They (EC) should have given us a formal letter. Now we have to go to each and everyone of their house and collect their photocopied IC. How are we supposed to do it?” she asked.
‘Changes made little sense’
DAP Taman Desa Branch chairman KY Khong said that this was the fourth change the EC had made without prior notice.
Khong said that this made little sense as DAP was assisting the EC to register more voters.
“We are assistant registrars who have attended a briefing in which the EC had explained how we should go about with the whole registration process,” he said.
Despite this, the EC had continued to implement voter registeration changes without prior notice.
“The first change was when we were given a statement to list down all the forms that we have included with the registration form. Secondly, the whole form had changed. The third change was that the columns were made narrower and the fonts smaller. Now, we have to include the ICs,” said Khong.
He argued that all these changes require time and is a hindrance to the voter registration drive.
DAP’s Segambut MP, Lim Lip Eng, who was also present, said that he disagreed with the EC’s new requirement of including the photocopied ICs as assistant registrars were merely supposed to help register voters and not verify voter identities.
“We register voters, it is our labour of love, we do it pro-bono (free of charge) but it is not our job to verify these voters. It is the EC’s job. They are connected to the National Registration Department (NRD),” he said.