Azalina says EC not reducing number of assistant registrar officers

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has denied a report that the Election Commission (EC) has reduced its number of Assistant Registrar Officers (ARO).

Azalina said the accusation made by the Kulai Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching was irresponsible and would only cause confusion among the public.

She said as of Sept 30, the number of ARO stood at 14,342.

“The number comprises AROs from various categories, such as the representatives from government department, associations and universities nationwide.

“The amount that was quoted by the Kulai MP is just representing the number of representatives from associations.

“Statement made by the Kulai MP, that the reduction of ARO to 205 people has affected the process of registering new voters could confuse the ‘rakyat’ and is regarded as irresponsible,” she said in a statement.

Teo previously said the reduction to only 205 AROs in the whole country, as compared to 5,720 in 2011 was disappointing, especially since there are close to 3.8 mill eligible Malaysians who have yet to register.

She referred to the answer from Azalina in a parliamentary written reply on Oct 25, on the statistic provided by the EC.

Azalina said various efforts have been made by the EC to attract more eligible citizens to register as voters.

“For example, EC have provided caravan facilities, conducted outreach programs in most visited public spaces such as shopping malls, recreation centres, residential areas, higher educational institutions and related training centres.

“EC is also open to accept any invitations in providing voter registration counters for any related events.” she said.