Release list of absentee voters, EC told

5:48PM Jan 6, 2013

Shanghai Bersih has called on the Election Commission to release the list of registered absentee voters in light of some Malaysians overseas being registered as such without their knowledge.

This, the electoral movement said, was necessary for overseas Malaysians to cross check their status.

"We are also very concerned as some overseas Malaysians have been registered and informed by the EC via mail to their Malaysian residence that they are now absentee voters without their request.

"This is a very serious issue because those voters' constitutional rights (to vote) will be denied at the polling station if they try to vote in Malaysia and are not aware they have been made an absentee voter and can only vote at the designated city overseas," it said in a statement today.

The movement said it was worried that the registration of overseas Malaysians as absentee voters without their knowledge may open it to abuse, and being used for phantom voting.

The movement also urged EC to speed up its plans for overseas voting and announce the details as soon as possible.

For now, only overseas full-time students, government servants and their spouses qualify for absentee voting. Until the EC says so, other overseas Malaysians cannot register as absentee voters.

This was despite a recent statement by the Malaysian consulate-general in New York which said it was preparing for possible overseas voting for Malaysians.

"A consulate-general or embassy would be unable to register an overseas Malaysian as an eligible absent voter under Rule 2 (of the Election Rules (Electoral Roll) 2002) without the consent or special approval of EC," it said.