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PBS opposes automatic registration of new voters

KOTA KINABALU, July 11, 2019:

Parti Bersatu Sabah is not in favour with the proposal for automatic registration of new voters. 

Its President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili in disclosing this said such act could lead to the pollution of the electoral rolls, especially in Sabah.

"Situation is different between East and West Malaysia. In Sabah, it is an open secret that there are large presence of illegal immigrants, and their numbers could easily fetch to over one million, of whom thousands are suspected to have become voters. 

"Many of these illegal foreigners are suspected to be holders of faked Identity Cards (ICs), or ICs illegally given, or dubious birth certificates," he said in a statement today. 

Ongkili pointed out that if the children of these doubtful voters are allowed automatically become voters upon reaching the age of 18, he stressed that the pollution of the electoral rolls is surely guaranteed. 

"If this is allowed, then for Sabah, foreigners will determine the formation of both the national and Sabah governments.

"PBS believe that this is not only serious, but exposing our country and state to political disaster.

"We (PBS) insist that new voters must register and prove their qualifications as a voter. It cannot be automatic," he stressed. 

Besides, he added that there is no guarantee that automatic registration would increase voters turnout, unless voting is made compulsory like in many countries that practise automatic registration.

He added that however, PBS supports the proposal to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18.

"(But) More efforts should be directed to conducting education and awareness programmes to young people on why they should practise their rights to vote and participate in the political process. Not by forcing young people to register as voters through legal compulsion.

 "Hence, PBS objects automatic voter registration. It's a wrong priority and exposing Sabah to the rule of illegal foreigners," he said. 

The proposed constitutional amendment was tabled for first reading today by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and expected to be debated and voted next week.

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