Election Academy to educate public on voting

By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR File

The Election Academy (APR), which was established in 2007 under the Operation Division of the Election Commission (EC), plays an important role in instilling public understanding of the country’s election process via voter education programmes.

Prior to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s announcement last Friday on the dissolution of Parliament which came into effect on April 7, the academy has been actively involved in various voter education programmes to ensure the smooth running of the 14th General Election (GE14).

In addition to providing special training to EC officers, staff and election workers, APR has also been actively going to the ground nationwide to explain the election process to the public.

APR director Hasanul Isyraf Naim said the voter education programmes implemented last year alone had benefitted about 30,000 participants encompassing various levels of society.

He said in conjunction with GE14 this year, the voter education programmes had been actively implemented nationwide, especially involving personnel from the Royal Malaysia Police and Royal Malaysian Armed Forces, agents of political parties and media practitioners to help them understand the election process.

Hasanul Isyraf also hoped the programme could help fend off the negative perception by certain quarters on the EC’s transparency and raise public awareness on the importance of registering as voters, as well as voting.

“When we go down to the ground, we will also conduct the election simulation so that they (voter education programme participants) will have an open mind and have faith in the (election) system and register as voters,” he told Bernama in an interview at the academy’s office recently.

Since joining the APR in 2014, he was determined to make the academy and the EC close to the people’s heart through the voter education programmes by catering to a wider target group, including young voters comprising university, community college and polytechnic students.

He said last month, the APR had also conducted training and election briefings for GE14 workers comprising civil servants and teachers.

Hasanul Isyraf said more than 250,000 election workers appointed also played an important role in ensuring the smooth running of the GE14, including during the voting and the counting processes.

Registered voters can check their status via the smartphone application — MySPR Semak, or EC’s official portal at www.spr.gov.my or through SMS by typing SPR followed by the identity card number and sending an SMS to 15888, or contact EC 03-88927018.