Saturday October 20, 2012 MYT 8:46:45 PM
Malaysians can apply to vote by post from November onwards
By RAZAK AHMAD
PETALNG JAYA: All Malaysians overseas can apply online from as early as next month to vote by post at the coming 13th general election, Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said.
To do so, a special version of the “Form 1” application form will be made available for download from the EC website.
The Commission will also conduct a public awareness campaign to encourage Malaysians abroad to vote.
“Very soon, maybe next month, we will upload the form that can be accessed by Malaysians all over the world who are already registered voters, to request to receive their ballot papers by post,” he said.
He was speaking when met after attending a forum entitled “Citizens in a free and fair elections” organised by the National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI), a non-governmental organisation.
To qualify as an overseas postal voter, one must already be registered with the Commission as a voter and must have returned to Malaysia at least once in the past five years.
A Parliamentary Select Committee recommendation that all Malaysians abroad be allowed to vote by post was passed in April. Prior to that, only full-time students and civil servants, as well as their spouses, were eligible for postal voting.
Amendments to the regulations and forms needed to register as postal voters would not require any amendment to the Federal Constitution, and is expected to be laid down in Parliament soon.
Wan Ahmad reminded all Malaysians abroad that they must first sign up as a voter before they qualify to apply for their ballot papers to be sent by post.
Overseas Malaysians who wish to register as voters can do so by downloading “Form A” application that is already available online at the EC's website (http://www.spr.gov.my).
The forms, after being filled out, should then be attached with a copy of the applicant's passport or MyKad and then mailed to the respective Malaysian Embassy's assistant voter registrar appointed by the EC.
On another matter, Wan Ahmad said six local non-Governmental organisations would serve as observers for the next general election in Peninsula Malaysia, while several more would be appointed to observe polls in Sabah and Sarawak.
They are the Merdeka Centre, The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and The Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM).
Also appointed are Transparency International, Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPs) and the Malaysian Youth Council. A number of local Sabah and Sarawak based NGOs would be appointed as monitor in the two respective states.
Each monitoring NGO would be allowed to have three representatives each in all 222 parliamentary constituencies. The observers will not be allowed to issue statements during the polling period but will be allowed to publicise their reports to the public after the completion of the general election.
“This move is to increase the transparency and confidence of the people towards our election really follows the rules, because we will be allowing the NGOs to observe the polls, although they will come under certain conditions,” said Wan Ahmad.