If you're not registered to vote, you should do it now

Over 2.5 million Malaysian youths aren't registered as voters, new research finds

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 20 Sep 2017

Register to vote now
Photo: Prabal Gurung

For Malaysians, the 14th general elections are speculated to take place in March 2018. That's only six months away and if you haven't registered to vote then there's no better time than NOW to do so. Here's why this month could be the most important month for non-registered voters.

The number of non-registered voters
According to an August 2017 survey by Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, the Malaysian youth, aged between 21 to 30 years old, is the largest population group in the country. As a result: the youth make up two thirds of unregistered voters in our country. That's over two and a half million Malaysian youths, making the bloc one of the most influential voter groups currently.

Why are you not registered?
Research says that the youth feel "powerless" to change the future of our people. The Malaysian Insight reports that 53% of youth said they were too busy to register (seriously?), 30% said their vote would not make a difference (really lah bro?), and 17% said they did not know how to register (well, here's how). 

Merdeka Centre programme director and co-founder Ibrahim Suffian said the political culture in Malaysia does not encourage open criticism that causes the lack of interest in young voters. "The political culture doesn't encourage questioning of critical polices and issues and in many ways disempowered our people, especially our young, and it shapes the political thoughts that they have going into the future," he said.

So why should you register?
There's a lot of dissatisfaction among Malaysian youth, and no surprise: petrol prices are going up, and so is the rate of debt, property value and corruption. It is more important than ever for all of us to take charge of the fate of our country. By becoming a registered voter, every citizen has a chance to put the right people in power who can help us achieve an ideal future, one that does not include swimming in loans, debt and corruption.

When should you register?
Right now! If you're unregistered, this September could be the LAST month to register as a voter before the elections take place. Voters only appear on the gazetted electoral roll six months after registering, so if GE14 does take place next March, THIS is the last month to get on the list. If you miss it this month, you could potentially only be eligible to vote about FOUR YEARS after the upcoming general elections.

How to register
Registering does not take a lot of effort; just drive down to the nearest post office with your IC and sign up. If you want to check if you're registered already, click here.

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