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EC sees postal voting as the only way for overseas Malaysians

 | March 14, 2012

But the EC and PSC have yet to arrive at a final resolution of the matter.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) said that the only way for overseas Malaysians to cast their ballots is through postal voting.

EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar conveyed this today to Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform.

The EC was to come back with feedback to PSC regarding overseas voting including the terms and conditions for overseas voters to cast their ballots.

“Overseas voting can be done but it will be through postal voting,” PSC chairman Maximus Ongkili told reporters after a meeting with the EC at Parliament today.

He said that some committee members objected to this because it went against the PSC proposal to cut back on postal voting.

However, he added that no decision was reached on the matter.

“We will let it float for another week and see what happens. The EC has to come back with the conditions for overseas voters.

“We want to be practical as well. We want to reduce postal votes but in certain cases it is just unavoidable,” Ongkili added.

Currently, only government staff, army personnel and full-time students overseas can vote by post.

Not practical

Ongkili said that although some groups had suggested that ballot boxes be set up in embassies abroad similar to a normal voting process, it was not practical to do so.

“For voting to be done in each embassy we will have to arrange 220 boxes. That may be very difficult. We also have to arrange for polling agents,” he said.

He added that there were only about 2,000 voters registered overseas out of the thousands Malaysians living abroad.

He said that it might not be possible for overseas Malaysians to vote in the upcoming election if it was called soon.

The PSC will meet the EC again on March 20 to come up with a solution.

There are three more meetings before the PSC tables its final report in Parliament by the first week of April.

Ongkili said the PSC was on track to table its final report.


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