PUTRAJAYA: More than 330,000 Malaysians who have yet to convert to the MyKad will still be eligible to vote in the next general election, the Election Commission (EC) assured.
Even the 22,433 people in the electoral roll whose identity card numbers were not found in the National Registration Department database can vote if they can prove they are eligible.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman was clarifying to reporters yesterday on the misunderstanding over the issue of those without MyKad not being able to vote.
He said the 22,433 holding the old eight-digit identity card had registered as voters in the 1960s and 1970s and would be over 60 years old if they were still alive.
These people have until next Tuesday to clarify their registration with the EC in 866 locations nationwide, failing which the EC would have to find other ways to verify their status before expunging their names from the electoral roll.
“The EC does not expunge names off the electoral roll easily. We will try to locate them before making the drastic decision,” he said, adding that it would cost the EC millions to locate these people.
Last week, EC secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor was quoted as saying that all those using the old eight-digit identity card would be expunged from the electoral roll to clean up the roll and to bring it in line with NRD records.
He had said that the decision was made at last month’s EC meeting and was a new regulation under the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002.
Abdul Rashid, however, said the EC had suggested that all Malaysian voters have the MyKad to enable them to use the biometric system to verify their identity.
“We cannot use the biometric system now although it is available because not all Malaysians have the MyKad. We can’t have two different systems during elections,” he said, explaining that both card and thumbprint would be checked electronically under the biometric system.
Abdul Rashid also said the EC would be fully prepared for the general election by the end of September, adding that it would need about RM320mil to run it, with 200,000 personnel who are undergoing training.
On the use of the indelible ink in elections, Abdul Rashid, who described it as “archaic”, said it would be finalised after the National Fatwa Council gives it the go-ahead.
This is because Muslims cannot use any form of ink on them, especially those that cannot be removed.