The Pontian Member of Parliament (MP), Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has urged the government to make voting compulsory and to penalise those who fail to cast their ballots.
He added that 22 countries have already made it mandatory for their citizens to vote, including two of Malaysia’s neighbours, Thailand and Singapore.
“It’s just once every five years, but some people don’t go out to vote. What is this? It’s not like it’s every month. During GE14, there were 14.9 million voters, but the number of people who went to cast their vote was 12.2 million.”
“Were the other 2.7 million people sleeping or what? They didn’t go out to vote although it’s just once every five years.” he said in the Parliament session yesterday (30 September), as reported by FMT.
Ahmad Maslan then proposed to the government to impose a light fine on those who refuse to go out and vote. The fine could be a compound of RM100 to RM200, or even prohibit them from renewing their driving licence
He then pointed out the recent by-elections over the past 3 years had seen low turnout rates, including 2018’s Balakong vote (43%), Seri Setia (44%) and Sg Kandis (49.4%), and the contest for the Penanti state seat in 2009 (46%).
Similarly, the Port Dickson by-election won by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim sees only 58% of voters casting their ballots.
Meanwhile, the government is in the midst of implementing the automatic voter registration, as well as the UNDI18.
There will be over 5 million new voters in the next election, which is due in under 2 years.
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