Low response to foreign voter drive, says EC
SHAH ALAM, July 6 — Response to its voter registration drive outside of the country has been disappointing, the Election Commission (EC) has said despite earlier clamour for the facility.
“It has been six months since we opened-up registrations for voters abroad at embassies and consulates, but until now only 300 to 400 voters have registered,” Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusoff, the head of the commission, told The Malaysian Insider recently.
“Only a maximum of five voters came to register in a day.”
According to Aziz, the response so far fell short of the earlier clamour.
“Prior to the EC opening up registrations, there was ruckus all over that Malaysian voters abroad were being denied of their right to vote,” said Abdul Aziz.
To facilitate registrations abroad, the EC has placed appointed officers at Malaysian embassies and consulates as assistant registrars.
Forms for voter registration are also available online and may be filled up before being sent to Malaysian embassies and consulates abroad.
In discussions with the Parliamentary Select Committee for Electoral Reform (PSC), the commission had suggested that Malaysians abroad who intended to vote make the trip home once in five years to do so,
“If they have not returned to Malaysia, this means they have no knowledge of the political scene in the country.
“Even countries such as the United Kingdom have rules for their voters abroad and not everyone can vote as they wish,” Aziz told The Malaysian Insider.
The voting process abroad will also not replicate the system used in the country as Wisma Putra was not willing to make it so.
“In certain places abroad, there are only one or two Malaysians and it is a waste of time to do the normal procedure.
“Thus, the EC proposed for the voting for Malaysians abroad to be done via postal voting,” said Aziz.