Here’s some of the breakdown state-wise:

Selangor – 787,000
Johor – 605,000
Perak – 526,000
Sarawak – 473,000
Kuala Lumpur – 350,000
Kedah – 317,000
Sabah – 280,000
Kelantan – 200,000

(Sources here and here)

It is also estimated that, annually, 450,000 newly eligible voters who have reached age 21 nation-wide should be on the electoral rolls.

Unfortunately, most of them are not due to a variety of reasons, including ignorance, apathy and perhaps, just plain laziness.

How do you reconcile the sovereign right of each eligible voter getting registered with the Election Commission which in turn allows them to cast their ballot papers during an election with the duties of the EC to ensure that every citizen is given ample opportunities to do so?

If you read the MSMs, the ‘standard’ reasons mentioned above are given. So, there’s nothing more that the EC can do, it seems.

What is happening on ground zero may be something else though.

For example, Parti Sosialis Malaysia went on a voter registration exercise towards the end of last year and Perak was an obvious priority in their campaign due to the possibility of a state snap election resulting from the forthcoming Federal Court ‘MB vs MB’ judgment on 9th February 2010.

Consider PSM’s recent encounter with the EC (here and here).

Excerpts:

  • After EC headquarters gave the green light, SEC organised a briefing session for the party and gave about 600 new voter application forms.
  • When the voters’ registration forms ran out, SEC started to give excuses and declined to give another 10,000 such forms as requested by PSM.
  • “There are about 4.2 million Malaysians nationwide that are not registered as voters of which about 500,000 are in Perak. We are trying to help SEC to register such potential voters but there seems to be no cooperation from the SEC,” he lamented .
  • He said during festive seasons like Thaipusam it would be easy for the party members to campaign for new voters and enrol new members into PSM.
  • PSM had applied to the Election Commission last December for approval to register voters in view of the high number of unregistered voters in the country (500,000 in Perak).
  • The party was then informed that its appointment letter would be released within two weeks. It had requested for 10,000 application forms.
  • However, PSM was later informed that such a number would require the EC to send its officers along for the exercise. This was made conditional upon the release of the registration forms. The party found this strange as no such condition was extended to other political parties.

With 500,000 plus unregistered voters in Perak alone, don’t you think that EC should have more than 10,000 forms printed and ready for distribution?

Heck! By now, the EC should have a couple of million forms stashed away in all the states and their assigned registrars ready to do their job, with or without any help from ‘vested’ parties.

Why isn’t this happening?

Well, UMNO Baru itself can’t get their members (661,000 out of 3.4 million) to register as voters.

And assuming any UMNO Baru member must be 21 and above, 4 million plus trumps 661k ‘unregistrants’ (sic) anytime.

Yup, it is a numbers game after all.

Sooo .. Forget about NTR’s 1Malaysia and its maxim of “People first, Performance Now”.