Spike in new voters for Selangor ‘normal’, EC chief says


(TMI) — The controversial huge jump in first-time voters for Selangor is regular and to be expected as the country’s richest state is a magnet for Malaysians seeking better jobs and lives, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has said.

Abdul Aziz credited the spike to Selangor’s status as a very popular state among Malaysians, saying that many voters are attracted by the job opportunities available to work and stay there.

He was responding to the Selangor government’s doubts and suspicion over the spike in the number of voters in its state assembly (DUN) and Parliamentary constituencies.

“Throughout Malaysia, from 2008 up to 2012, three million new voters have been registered.

“Out of the three million, 400,000 are from Selangor, because Selangor is a very popular state, so many people like to work (and) live in Selangor and they use (an) address in Selangor,” he told The Malaysian Insider in a phone interview when contacted yesterday.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government had recently carried out a study which showed the figures of newly-registered voters in constituencies held by one of the three political parties within its alliance — PKR, DAP and PAS — had steadily increased with every passing quarter this year, at 563,471; 600,406; and 625,210 respectively.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement on Friday that the state could not trace 28 per cent of its 497,084 voters who were registered in last year’s fourth quarter.

The PKR man also pointed to the incomplete electoral maps of five state assembly areas as justification for Selangor’s worries.

But Abdul Aziz said that a big chunk of Malaysia’s newly-registered voters in the past four years use addresses in Selangor when registering with the EC.

When registering voters, the EC has to follow the address as recorded in identity cards (IC) — now called MyKads. Voters can change their voting address if they change their MyKad address and inform the EC.

Abdul Aziz said Selangor’s popularity made it natural for some Parliamentary areas in Selangor to have an increase of new voters by 30 to 40 per cent.

Other places like Ipoh, Johor Baru and Malacca have a percentage increase in new voters that is more or less like Selangor’s, he said.

“The increase of voters in Selangor, Parliament or ADUN (areas) in Selangor, are also happening in other places, other states. Not only in Selangor.

“This is normal,” he said.

The commission chief also attributed the significant jump to the hard work of both the EC and political parties in registering those who are eligible to vote.

“PKR, DAP, PAS are very active in registering voters in Selangor…They contribute a lot in terms of (registering) new voters in Selangor,” he said, referring to the parties in PR.

He said another 600,000 people in Selangor are eligible to vote, but have yet to register.

Political parties have been working to get more citizens registered as voters, ahead of the 13th general elections that is expected to be the country’s most intensely-contested polls.

In the 12th general election, the three federal opposition parties had swept a total of 36 seats, with PKR taking the lion’s share of 15 seats; and the DAP and PAS taking 13 and eight respectively.

Selangor is said to be a state with hot seats because of its large number of newly-registered voters, as well as being the country’s wealthiest state.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is said to be eyeing the country’s wealthiest state in the upcoming elections, with its chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently pledging to cancel a controversial condominium project in the Batu Caves area if BN wins back Selangor.

Najib, who is also Umno president, has repeatedly vowed to win back Selangor for his BN coalition by all means necessary.