DAP targets new voters among heritage city visitors

Everyone is a potential voter, says the DAP, including visitors thronging the streets of George Town, the capital of Penang, to celebrate the city’s second year as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Those who combed the heritage city yesterday were not spared the party’s campaign to garner more votes for the coming general election, highly speculated to be held next year.

Several party members wearing red T-shirts armed with registration forms stood around a table, set up amidst stalls selling and exhibiting arts and crafts, at the intersection of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Armenian Street.

A huge yellow banner stood erect beside the table and no one could miss its glaring message, ‘New voter registration’ in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

Martin Lim Huat Poh, special assistant to Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong, said the party had signed up about 100 new voters in the span of a few hours yesterday.

“We are encouraged by the good response. We will continue our campaign in other events such as the coming Bon Odori festival on July 17,” he said.

Martin, who is in charge of community outreach programmes, said the party’s various teams have been setting up counters in shopping malls and night markets all over the state during weekends.

“So far we have submitted about 19,000 registered forms to the Election Commission,” he said.

“But we are still far behind in numbers for Penang alone has about 211,000 unregistered voters.”

He said he felt that the election would be called soon although Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recently said that the election date would be a surprise.

‘Painless and easy’
Jennifer Mourin, a newly-registered voter, was excited that she could finally vote come the next general election.

She said the registration process was painless and so easy, and the idea of capturing potential voters among the heritage crowd was brilliant.

“I am so glad to be able to do this here as I have not been able to register as a voter all these years because I have been mostly abroad for work,” said Mourin, 48, who works for a local NGO.

The DAP is targeting about a 10 percent increase in the number of voters in every constituency by carrying out registration exercises even at night markets and shopping complexes.

Unregistered voters must register soon to qualify as voters in 2011 as the approval process for new voters would take between four to six months.

In April, DAP together with PAS and PKR launched an aggressive campaign to meet its ambitious target of registering 10,000 voters in a span of nine days.


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