FIVE states including Pakatan Harapan-controlled Selangor and Penang have recorded the highest number of new voters ahead of the next general election.
The highest increase of voters, in terms of percentage, was the country’s administrative capital, Putrajaya, that saw the number of new voters rise by 56.33% with 8,623 new voters. But it has the lowest number of voters in the country at 23,931.
The increase, according to data obtained from the Election Commission, was highest in PKR-led Selangor at 14.36%, which rose from 2,020,496 voters in 2013 to 2,310,604 in the first quarter of 2017.
Terengganu came in second with a 14.11% increase while the number of new voters registered in Johor was higher by 12.31%.
The overall increase in new voters since the last general election in 2013 is 1.4 million or 11%.
“We are excited about the data (for Selangor). Increase in voters is something positive. The rising numbers also reflect the hard work the political parties have put in,” Selangor Amanah chief Izham Hashim said.
“But there are still some 500,000 eligible voters who have not registered yet.”
However, the increase in Terengganu is “suspicious”, according to local politicians who claimed it was inconsistent with the population growth rate.
“The registration of voters should be in-line with the population growth, but this is not the case,” Terengganu PKR chief Azan Ismail, who is also Bandar assemblyman, told The Malaysian Insight.
East Coast volunteers from think-tank Invoke said the spike in voter numbers was caused by Barisan Nasional’s New Terengganu Transformation (TTB) project, as well as Pakatan and Invoke’s voter registration campaigns via the new media.
An Invoke volunteer said the TTB project made it compulsory for teenagers seeking funds from the Terengganu government to register as voters.
“Every application for funds from the government must be attached to a voter registration slip certified by the village security and development committee (JKKK),” the volunteer said.
PAS’ voter registration exercise is also believed to have contributed to the rise in voters in Terengganu, as the Islamist party has a strong election machinery at the grassroots.
However, PAS leaders contacted by The Malaysian Insight declined to comment.
Other parliamentary constituencies with high increases in new voters are Tebrau (16.99%) and Pasir Gudang (11.37%) in Johor, Tanah Merah (14.71%) and Bachok (11.58%) in Kelantan, and Serdang in Selangor (12.98%)
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT