Minister refutes DAP MP’s claim to slashing number of election officers
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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said denied the Election Commission (EC) has drastically reduced the number of assistant registrar officers (AROs) to only 205 people as alleged.
She said the allegation made by DAP’s Teo Nie Ching was false as the total number of ARO’s as of September this year stands at 14,342 people.
“The statement by the Kulai MP that EC has reduced ARO’s to 205 is not true. The total number of ARO until 30 September 2017 is 14,342 people,” Azalina said in a statement today, referring to Teo by the constituency she represents.
She added that the 205 figure cited by Teo only referred to the number of appointees from organisation representatives and did not include those from government departments and university representatives.
Teo had previously alleged that the EC seemed to be reducing the number of AROs over the years without giving a significant reason.
The Opposition lawmaker urged the EC to increase the number of AROs instead in hopes to get higher registration of voters and voter turn out for the polls.
The minister panned the statement made by Teo as “irresponsible”.
“The statement by the Kulai MP that a purported decrease in AROs had caused the failure in registering new voters can confuse the people and is irresponsible,” Azalina said.
She added that the EC had taken much effort to draw more qualified citizens to sign up as voters including providing a registration caravan for roadshows and setting up outreach programmes in public places like shopping malls, training centres and higher education institutes.