Operation ‘Voters Check’

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Sentul DAP Branch on Wednesday, October 30, 1968 at 8 p.m.

The DAP Headquarters has instructed all its branches in the country to carry out a house-to-house campaign in their respective areas to check that voters who had voted in the 1959 and 1964 general elections are still on the electoral register.

We found that in the recent Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election, at one polling centre alone, there were several hundred voters who have lost their right to vote because their names had been struck off from the electoral register, although they had voted in previous elections and had not moved to new addresses.

This arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters happened in most centres in town and new village areas. We estimate that at least 1,000 voters in Segamat Utara had been stripped of the right to vote since the last general elections.

The overwhelming majority of these disenfranchised voters would have voted for the DAP, if they had not lost their votes. They had all voted against the Alliance in the past.

The arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters in anti-Alliance towns and new villages is not a new complaint. It had happened in previous elections in most constituencies. But it had not happened in so wide and extensive a scale as in the Segamat Utara by-election.

There is enough ground to suspect that it is the government policy to delete and disenfranchise batches of voters from anti-Alliance areas during the annual revision of electoral registers. Accompanied by the annual increase in the number of rural voters, the Alliance hoped that this will ensure their continued electoral success.

The impartially and independence of the Elections Commision must be in serious doubt unless an inquiry is immediately held into this undemocratic practice of arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters.

The DAP Secretary-General, Mr. Goh Hock Guan, has written to the Elections Commission calling for an inquiry into this matter in Segamat Utara, but has not yet received any reply.

As the Elections Commission is reluctant to institute an independent inquiry, the DAP has decided to instruct all its branches to make house-to-house visits to ascertain the extent of the arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters since the last general elections.

It will take considerable time to complete the survey, but we hope by the next elections, we will have a definite idea of the number of voters whose names had been struck off from the rolls.

Audited on 2021-03-05