More aggressive efforts needed to increase voter turnout in SRC election

By Azra Farzana Shuib

GOMBAK, 16 October 2017: The new office bearers for the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) 2017/2018 will have a new responsibility to address – creating greater awareness among the students to exercise their democratic rights as voters in the election process – apart from fulfilling their manifestos for the recent election.

Prior to the election, the previous tenure of the SRC had organised a campaign aimed at targeting 80 per cent voter turnout for the election. However, only 58 per cent of the students turned up to vote, although it was still a slight increase from last year’s total turnout which was 56 per cent.

The Chairman of 80 per cent Voter Turnout Campaign, Amirul Hisham Abdul Rahman, who was also the former President of SRC, acknowledged that there should be an improvement in future campus election.

He said, “80 per cent was the maximum percentage we targeted to achieve. We hoped that by getting students to be aware of their rights they would come forward with their sense of responsibility to vote.”

“Since representatives from Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design (KAED) won uncontested, this was one reason we failed to achieve the 80 per cent target. Hopefully, we’ll have more candidates in future election, as well as more people to vote. No doubt, 80 per cent is a high target set, but efforts must be made,” he added.

Amirul Hisham also said that an issue of concern was the “hot seats” from the Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences (KENMS), Human Sciences (HS), and Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Law (AIKOL).

“These Kulliyyah should be an example to others, but as we can see, there had been a low turnout in these Kulliyyah. Both HS and AIKOL had good manifesto debates, but still the percentage of voters’ turnout was low,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chairman (SRC) of the campaign, Siti Nur Atiqah Ismail, suggested for the newly-elected SRC line-up to conduct a proper research to identify the core issues and problems.

“Look at the tools of the campaign, can we still use the previous tools to reach a bigger number of students? We have to review the methods we used and come out with more aggressive strategies.

Most importantly, one of the biggest challenges SRC needs to address is to prove to the campus community that SRC’s role is relevant. They need to work harder to increase awareness among the students so that they would understand what SRC is all about, and in what ways the election would benefit them,” Siti Nur Atiqah added.

She suggested that the idea of such campaign should be continued.

“This was the first ever campaign of this nature and should be continued. They can work in collaboration with Mahallah Representative Council (MRC), Kulliyyah-Based Society (KBS), and the campaign must be officially supported by the Election Commission,” she said. ***

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