Call on the million eligible but unregistered voters to register themselves to help determine Malaysia’s destiny

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Perak DAP State Committee meeting held in Ipoh on Sunday, 17.2.1985 at 10 a.m.

Call on the million eligible but unregistered voters to register themselves to help determine Malaysia’s destiny.

According to the Elections Commission, this year‘s voters’ registration campaign would be held next month, probably from March 19 to April 29 for 42 days.

Malaysia has at present some 6.2 million voters, but there are over
one million Malaysians who are eligible to vote but who have not registered
as voters. As a result, during every elections, they could not vote and
help determine Malaysia’s destiny.

I estimate that over 70 per cent of the one million eligible but
non-registered voters are in the urban areas. I call on every eligible but
unregistered voter to take the trouble to get themselves registered on
the electoral register, even if it means spending some time to find the
registration centre, for by failing to register and cast their vote in
elections, they are in fact responsible for the present injustices
and inequalities in our country by default!

The DAP has formed a DAP National Voters’ Registration Campaign
Committee, headed by Sdr. Lee Lam Thye (DAP Deputy Secretary-General) as
Chairman, Sdr. Mohamd Isa (Central Executive Committee Member) as Vice
Chairman; Sdr. P. Patto (Deputy Secretary-General) as Secretary to help
the Elections Commission to make the people aware of the importance of
registering as a voter.

The people must help to spread the message, to ask their friends
and acquaintances beginning today whether they have registered as a voter,
for in modern-day society, no-one can isolate himself from politics.
Those who take the attitude that ‘Politics is only for Politicians’ are
only condemning themselves, their children and society to the dictates
of others who are aware of their political rights and who exercise their
political responsibilities.

There is not a single matter in Malaysia which is not decided or
affected by politics. By eschewing or avoiding politics, one is
merely surrendering one’s political rights, and flowing from it, our
educational, economic, cultural and religious rights and status.

There is an urgent need for a movement to raise the political
consciousness of the people, especially in the urban areas; This must be
the responsibility not only of political parties, but also of all societies
associations and organisations, for while we can take the attitude that we
do not want to have anything to do with politics, politics would want to
have everything to do with us. Our only real choice is that either we
decide to have no say whatever to try to influence political and national
events, becoming puppets at the ends of strings of fate to be pulled by
the politicians, or we take an active path to help decide our own national
destiny, even if it is by the minimal political participation of registering
and casting one‘s vote.

I call in particular on the Chinese guilds, associations, clans and societies,
The Tamil and Chinese educational and cultural organisations,
the trade unions, to carry out political consciousness campaigns among
their members to ensure that there is a maximum percentage of voters’
registration during the Voters’ Registration period in March and April.

I have no doubt that this would be the last voters’ registration
exercise before the next general elections, which would be held either end
of this year or early next year.