How about automatic registration of voters?

NST: 03 March, 2008
POLITICS and the election give me the brain freeze. I was born in 1983, the year MTV turned two and Michael Jackson and Madonna were chart-toppers. Those in the 25-year-old age group are the Generation Y, who, studies have shown, have short retention span, seek alternative sources of news (via Internet or mobile phone and not the mainstream media), are brand-conscious due to peer pressure, hunt for bargains and freebies, go for music and are into computer games.
The younger ones, especially the girls, look up to Hillary Duff, a.k.a. Lizzie McGuire, as an icon.
They are comfortable in hipsters and baby tees, shop at Girls stores in KLCC and Mid Valley Megamall, among others. A mobile phone is a standard accessory. And so is lip gloss.
The majority do not give a hoot about local or international issues and do not seek opinions. Many, including me, are in a world of their own.
So, what do I care if one is a Yang Berhormat or not?
If he cannot meet my basic needs of, say, an efficient public transport system, why should I waste time listening to him preach something he doesn’t even practise?
A friend, Nor Ruzzana Roseley, actually dreams of getting her name on the ballot paper in future general elections but she has yet to become a registered voter.
Even if she does, she thinks the candidate is not worth her vote.
“So what’s the point of voting? Wait until I become a candidate; I’ll definitely walk the talk,” she said.
My other friends responded to my email with a “no, will not vote” reply because they haven’t registered as voters.
In my case, I am not a registered voter because I was simply too lazy to register.
We’d rather queue to get cinema or concert tickets, irrespective of how long the queue is.
I think the government should come up with a system whereby a person is automatically registered as a voter when he or she turns 21.
Spain is one country that does this. I was told by Rocio Ochoa, an intern with the company, that its citizens automatically become voters when they turn 19 but this does not make it compulsory for them to vote.
In the era of technology, it is about ease of doing things.
If we can now check our status as a registered voter and our polling station online, what’s stopping the Election Commission from carrying out automatic registration or even an online one?
Petty as it may sound, it could be the first step towards getting us to exercise our rights as Malaysians.