Saturday, February 29

Rentap expresses concern automatic voter registration will only favour cities, major towns


Gerald Rentap Jabu

KUCHING:  Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth wing has expressed concern that the automatic registration of voters for citizens aged 18 will only favour the cities and major towns.

Its chief Gerald Rentap Jabu said this is because rural to urban migration will only make families migrate and relocated from the rural areas.

“We support the amendment to let the younger generation to be politically empowered. Giving them chances and venue to voice their concerns and aspirations. At the same time creating political awareness and maturity to chart our nations path.

“However, we are also concerned on the automatic registration as this will favour only the cities and major towns as rural to urban migration will only make families migrate and relocate from the rural areas,” he said in a press statement today.

Rentap, who is Gabungan Parti Sarawak Youth chief, was commenting on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 that was passed on Tuesday, which among others allow the automatic registration of 18-year-old citizens to be voters.

The Layar assemblyman cautioned that declining of population in the rural areas will not give a clear indication on how the younger generation want their ancestral and traditional home to benefit.

“We are concerned that it might affect mainstream development will be concentrated in major towns. The youth must be given a chance to choose where they want to vote and contribute to society.”

In stating that development must be balanced, Rentap said this gap between rural and urban must also be addressed or else, those in the rural areas will not get the benefit and quality of services compared to major towns.