More voter excitement for GE13 as Bersih targets 85pc turnout

Boo Su-Lyn, TMI

Voters are getting more enthusiastic over Election 2013 compared to the last general election as Bersih 2.0 aims for an 85 per cent voter turnout to mitigate electoral fraud.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, co-chairman of the electoral reform group, told The Malaysian Insider today that Bersih’s “Jom 100” campaign has seen greater awareness about the upcoming national polls among people of all races and ages in both urban and rural areas. 

“People are raring to go and raring to vote,” said Ambiga (picture).

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm on the ground… people are getting more aware about their voting rights. I also ask the question, did you vote in 2008? They say no. Are you gonna vote this time? And they say yes,” added the former Bar Council president.

Election 2013, which will be held in weeks, is expected to be the most keenly contested election in recent times, with analysts saying that the outcome is in doubt for the first time in Malaysian history after the historic 2008 general election that saw Barisan Nasional (BN) lose its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

There are 13.3 million registered voters, or 83 per cent, out of 16 million eligible voters, according to the Election Commission (EC).

In Election 2008, 76 per cent out of 10.7 million registered voters turned up to vote, amounting to about 8.16 million voters.

Ambiga said she hoped for at least an 85 per cent voter turnout, pointing out that five to 10 per cent could make a difference.

“Any increase will help reduce or mitigate the fraud,” she said.

The lawyer said Bersih told Malaysians that they should not assume that their favoured candidates would win and that voting would help reduce electoral fraud. 

“We don’t want people to think there are no solutions to the fraud. There is in fact a very effective, not complete solution, but an effective way of reducing it,” said Ambiga.