Despite the implementation of UNDI18 and automatic voter registration, there are still many young voters aged 18 and above who are unaware that they can cast their vote in the upcoming 15th General Election, says caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“Many young voters do not even know their names have been listed on the electoral roll… currently, as soon as they are 18, they are automatically registered as voters… some might not even notice this.”
“There have been many occasions of my meeting young voters, especially students, where I found that they do not even know they are already in the electoral roll,” he said, reported Bernama.
With this, Ismail Sabri, who is also UMNO’s vice-president, urged the Barisan Nasional (BN) parties’ machinery to approach youth to explain the matter to them.
“Thus, the BN party machinery needs to reach out to young voters in their respective areas and ensure they come out to vote during polling day next month.”
“Otherwise, they might not know and not come out to vote. That is why we need to inform them,” he said.
He added that this is not the Election Commission’s (EC) duty but the political parties’ responsibility to educate the young voters.
Suspicious activity in Sabah
Responding to the significant increase in voters in Sabah, Ismail asked the EC to investigate the validity of the new voters as the increase does not seem to involve young voters.
“If they were young voters, we would understand… in this case, the EC should investigate, and if there are any concerns, we leave it to the commission to take necessary action,” he said.
Earlier, we reported that Sabah recorded over half a million new voters, which is a whopping 54% increase. The significant increase has since sparked concerns about another round of “Project IC”, an infamous programme in the 1990s for the systematic granting of citizenship to migrants.
It is also understood that much of the increase occurred between 2018 and 2020 before the voting age was lowered to 18, and automatic voter registration came into effect.
Meanwhile, Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) deputy president Clarence B Malakun demanded that the EC and the National Registration Department to come forward to provide an explanation on the matter.
“Sabahans have long been living under the suspicion that non-Sabahans have managed to cast votes. We’ve heard about them getting ICs. We’ve heard about the scandalous Project IC. And now this,” he said.