Come on Pakatan Rakyat; wake up please (UPDATED with Chinese and BM Translation)

I want you to make this your New Year Resolution. Come 1 January 2010, make sure you get at least one person to register as a voter — if you can get more than one to register, even better. Just through your efforts alone we can get at least half those not yet registered to vote to become registered voters.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Half-a-million Perakians yet to register as voters

There are about 500,000 qualified voters in Perak who have yet to register themselves with the Election Commission.

Perak Election Commission director Ahmad Adli Abdullah said the figure consists mostly of those who had just passed the majority age of 21.

”We are using various channels to get the younger generation to register themselves,” he said after a banner presentation ceremony at the Ipoh Post Office here on Wednesday.

”We are also getting politicians to help their constituents to register,” he said, adding that it was the people’s duty as citizens to register themselves to vote.

He noted that there were about 1.2 million registered voters in the state, consisting of about 1.1 million regular voters and about 29,000 postal voters.

Ahmad Adli said the post office was a preferred place for young voters to register.

However, he said many people were still unaware that they could register or change their voting address at post offices throughout the state.

”We will be hiring more staff to man the counters at post offices and would also be going down to the ground into rural areas to urge village heads to help us,” he said.

He said the Commission would also get lists from various government departments to check on their employees’ registration status. – The Star


That was what The Star reported today. And this is only for the state of Perak, mind you. What about the other states? All told there are an estimated 4-5 million eligible voters not registered as voters yet.

Take note that Pakatan Rakyat needed only 300,000 more votes to form the federal government in the last general election in March 2008. That’s right, only 300,000 more votes, if you total up the votes from the bottom 30 seats that Barisan Nasional won. If Pakayat Rakyat had garnered those extra 300,000 votes it would have won 112 parliament seats versus Barisan Nasional’s 110 instead of only 82 versus Barisan Nasional’s 130, like what happened last year.

Pakatan Rakyat is good when it comes to ceramahs. But how many times must we remind them that they are preaching to the already converted? They need to preach to the unconverted. And when the unconverted are not even registered voters yet, what good will it do even if you manage to convert them during ceramahs but they will not be voting come the next election?

We have been saying this time and again. Get those millions to register as voters. Then, get them committed to coming out to vote during the elections. As it is, only 70% to 75% of the registered voters come out to vote. And this has been a ‘steady trend’ since Merdeka 52 years ago. This means only half the eligible voters bother to vote. What chance does Pakatan Rakyat have when only half of Malaysians who can vote actually vote?

This should be the top priority for 2010. Pakatan Rakyat must launch a massive voter registration exercise. I know many who bitch, grumble and complain about the government but who have either never voted in their life or are not even registered to vote. You see many of them guzzling beer at the Long Bar in the Selangor Club offering their opinions on what is wrong with the country and what should be done and then go home pissed drunk thinking that they have done their bit for God, King and Country.

We can continue writing in the Blogs and on the Internet about what is wrong with this country and constantly expose the wrongdoings of the government. The politicians can criss-cross the country giving ceramahs to those in the rural areas who have no access to the Internet. But if this effort is not translated into votes then it would be a wasted effort.

The message is getting through. Those in the rural areas who attend ceramahs and the Internet-savvy Malaysians who read Blogs know what is wrong. They understand that changes are necessary and that the only way we will see change is to vote for the right government. But if they will not be voting in the election then what good will that do?

Maybe it is time that the rakyat take matters into their own hands. Maybe it is time that the rakyat launch a voter-get-voter campaign. If every registered voter can convince one family member, neighbour, friend, office colleague, or whatever, to register as a voter, then the four or five million Malaysians who have not yet registered as voters would become registered voters in no time at all.

I want you to make this your New Year Resolution. Come 1 January 2010, make sure you get at least one person to register as a voter — if you can get more than one to register, even better. Just through your efforts alone we can get at least half those not yet registered to vote to become registered voters.

The game plan should be:

1. Get them to register as voters.

2. Get them to come out to vote on Polling Day.

3. Who they vote for is of course their business and their constitutional right — but guide them on what they should look for when deciding whom to vote for.

Ultimately, we can only convince them to register as voters and to come out to vote. It is still up to them who they want to vote for. The crucial job thereafter is to turn all these registered voters into INFORMED VOTERS so that when they go to the polling station on Polling Day they will know what is the right thing to do.

And this is where the Blogs, Internet and ceramahs will have to play that role. But even if they do play that role but these ‘convinced people’ will not be voting then we shall see no benefit to all this effort.

My 2010 New Year Resolution: Voter-get-voter campaign. Make that your New Year Resolution as well.

Translated into Chinese at:

Translated into BM at: