KUALA LUMPUR - Newly registered voter, acclaimed entertainer Datuk Sharifah Aini Syed Jaafar, can now heave a sigh of relief.
Having signed up as a voter yesterday, she is not stopping at just that.
She plans to spread the word and get her family and friends to register as well.
"I must admit that I was experiencing a slight pang of guilt, not to mention embarrassment, for not registering earlier.
"What is important is I now have a duty to perform to my country.
"For that, I have become a voter," she said after registering at the Shah Alam post office yesterday.
Sharifah Aini first broke into the entertainment industry in 1969 after having won a talent show in Singapore the previous year.
The songstress said she had been "apolitical" all this while but wanted to have her say in things after having witnessed many unwanted disputes in the country.
"The government has also been urging everyone to come out and register and do their bit for the country. I am, therefore, also echoing those concerns."
Sharifah Aini said the government had been carrying out many initiatives, including those of benefit to the entertainment industry.
"Therefore, I am doing something on my part as a responsible citizen ... practising what I have been conferred -- my right to vote."
She said besides her, about 50 others, made up of her family and friends, had also registered as voters recently. "I want to put my influence to good use and spread the word on the importance of voting.
Meanwhile, Seniman president Zed Zaidi said the body, representing those in the entertainment industry, was planning a large-scale voter registration drive soon.
"We have been carrying out registration events in collaboration with non-governmental organisations during the Jom Megundi mass registration drive.
"But we will have our own one soon to register more of our association members."
Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, when contacted, praised Sharifah Aini's move and expressed hope that others in the creative industry would also follow suit.
"Sharifah Aini is a good example that it is never too late to register. Please do not be shy to come out and do your duty."