Bersih volunteers source for unregistered voters

Activists who were determined to keep the yellow momentum going sported Bersih’s signature yellow today as an act of defiance and retaliation towards the government’s crackdown on the coalition’s call for free and fair elections.

In Penang, a group of volunteers wearing bright yellow together with a clown handed out balloons to shoppers at Queensbay Mall, Bayan Baru. Four plain-clothed policemen were spotted observing, photographing and recording the event with video cameras.

“We are raising awareness for free and fair elections as well as helping SPR with the registration of new voters,” said Sim Tze Tzin, the state assemblyman for Pantai Jerejak. Sim added that the voter’s registration exercise will be held for four consecutive Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  – outside the Coffee Bean on the ground floor of Queensbay Mall.

However, the organizer of the event, Tan Seng Keat, a councillor with the MPPP said that he was disappointed with the turnout of volunteers as he had expected more poeple to show up.

“It was a last minute event and we only managed to get a handful of volunteers,” he conceded. “Even then, the police thought that we were going to hold a demonstration.”

A total of 15 volunteers turned up to help with the voter’s registration. Most of the shoppers were either below 21 years old or were already voters. Busloads of students and tourists formed most of the crowd.

As the call for free and fair elections heightens, the only way to reach out and educate eligible voters is through active campaigning and awareness programmes.

Although Facebook and Twitter plays an important role in defining the political landscape as seen in countries like Egypt, Libya, Syria Tunisia, and closer to home, in Singapore and Thailand – many people still remain oblivious of their rights and responsibility to vote. Almost 4 million voters remain unregistered forfeiting their rights as a voice to shape the nation.

The Bersih rally which was held on 9 July in Kuala Lumpur and simultaneously in more than 30 other cities worldwide gained international interest.

The peaceful demonstrators at the capital city were charged at with batons and fired with tear gas and chemically-laced water. Adding salt to the wound were denials about these violent retorts and unsympathetic jeers from leaders of the ruling party, condemning rally-goers even though there were evidence which proved otherwise.