Some Malaysians in Doha were given a mere half hour to register for the postal voting system.
The Malaysian Embassy in Doha sent out an e-mail to 38 Malaysians there at about 12.30pm on Jan 3.
The deadline was the next day, Jan 4, which was not a working day in this Islamic country, according to a Malaysian who works in Doha.
The Malaysian, who requested anonymity, told FMT the timing of the e-mail was absurd as almost 90% of Malaysians in Doha work in government-related companies which shut down at 2.30pm on Thursdays.
He also said the embassy closes at 1pm on Thursdays while nobody goes to work on Fridays and Saturdays. Very few construction companies and sales offices are open half day on Saturdays, but as a matter of fact Malaysians don’t work at such places.
The e-mail from the Malaysian Embassy required Malaysians to bring a photocopy of their passport or MyKad to the embassy or to send an e-mail with those documents by Jan 4.
“How can we comply with this notice when there is no notice period? We don’t carry our passports and Malaysian IC everyday/everywhere. Most Malaysians will miss this e-mail,” he said.
While the Election Commission (EC) can be commended on its effort to seek help from our embassies abroad where Malaysians are working, a longer notice however should have been given to all Malaysians working in Doha, said the upset Malaysian who wanted to vote in the coming general election.
He now fears that he has lost his opportunity to vote unless he flies down to Malaysia to vote on election day, a move which he says would be costly and depending on his strict work schedule.
FMT sent an e-mail to the embassy requesting for an explanation on the short notice to this group of Malaysians and on how many others were similarly affected. Even after 48 hours, there was no reply from the embassy officials.