KUCHING – A volunteer group seeking to register new voters said the dominance of the state Barisan Nasional was discouraging the young from wanting to be involved in the electoral process.
Rise of Sarawak Efforts (ROSE) said youths they met believed their ballots could not ultimately affect a change in the state or federal government.
“The feedback that we have received from them is that there is no point for them to register as voters.
“Even if they vote for the opposition, it makes no difference because the Barisan will still win,” ROSE chairman Ann Teo told Malay Mail.
Teo said out of an estimated 400,000 Sarawakians who have not registered as voters with the Election Commission as of September, ROSE has only managed to get slightly over 2,000 of them to sign up this year.
She said even those who registered said they were not likely to vote.
“What I mean to say is that voters will go to vote when they see that there is a close race (between the state Barisan Nasional and the opposition),” she said.
Teo expressed disappointment at the response despite efforts by her group to publicise the importance of participating in elections.
She then urged BN to play a bigger role in encouraging eligible voters to register, particularly in rural areas where she believed most unregistered voters to be.
Separately, PKR national vice head Voon Shiak Ni urged voters to sign up if they wanted their concerns about the state and country to be heeded, instead of choosing only to vent on social media.
“Each of us has a power to make the difference by participating in the coming general election,” she said.
There were 1,141,294 eligible voters in the 2016 Sarawak election.
– Malay Mail