KUALA LUMPUR - The Election Commission (EC) has started gearing up for the next general election, conducting briefings for volunteers amid a push by some politicians for the polls to be held this year, ahead of a September 2023 deadline.
A volunteer who declined to be named told The Straits Times that she has received instructions to get ready for election duties.
She had volunteered as a polling and counting agent during the last general election in 2018, and said the briefing then was carried out about a month or so before the election took place.
"There were briefings by the EC last Monday (June 13) and Tuesday. They did not give a date but they told us to standby for the election," she said.
Teachers from schools which are designated polling centres have also been called up for the briefings as they will be roped in as volunteers, she added.
However, there is no confirmation yet as to when the polls will be held.
EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom told ST: "The EC sets the date of election when Parliament is dissolved. Only the politicians know when that is. Training is done on a fairly regular basis so as to be prepared. After all, we don't know when elections are to be called."
According to a June 16 statement on the EC website, the latest electoral roll now includes voters who turned 18 as at end-May, following the implementation of automatic registration under Malaysia's so-called Undi18 legislation.
The law, which came into effect on Dec 15 last year, lowered the voting age to 18 from 21 and allows for automatic voter registration.
It will add some 5.8 million first-time voters to the electoral roll, a 40 per cent increase from the country'...