Sunday, November 13, 2011

Overseas Malaysian should be given the real right to vote in the upcoming GEs

Of course, Malaysians overseas have a right to vote --- but alas, this is what postal vote is all about. But in Malaysia, postal vote seems to be only for the EC officials on duty on polling date, police & armed forces personnel (and their families??? - if this is so, it should not be).

And the loss of rights of Malaysians overseas to vote is also because of time - between nomination day and voting, it should reasonably be 30 days - but the EC (under the BN rule ....possibly also under BN advice) have been shortening the period between nomination and voting. After nominations, ballot papers need to be printed - send to the overseas voter...collected back and should be back when votes are being counted - and that needs time...
3 - The period between nomination days and voting must increase, and Malaysian voters overseas and in other states from a particular constituency must be allowed to vote. This was the real intention of postal ballots but today it is only for those who will be working during polling day as Election Commission officers, police and military personnel in the constituencies. With regard to military personnel, one must realize that many of regiments and divisions in Peninsular Malaysia are from Sabah and Sarawak, and rightfully they and their families should be given the right to vote in the constituencies where they choose to be registered as voters. Many would have preferred to vote in the recent Sarawak State elections but were deprived that right. For true postal voting to be effective, the period between nomination and polling must be longer - it takes time to print ballot papers, send them to the registered voter overseas and elsewhere, for them to vote, send back the ballot papers, etc - maybe 30 days would be best. - Who does Anwar think he is? BERSIH is an independent movement for free elections...
Gerakan broke ranks with BN partner MCA today over the overseas voter issue, saying every citizen has a right to vote, “regardless of geographic location”.

In a statement this morning, party deputy president Chang Ko Youn said “our foreign missions must set up a fair and effective mechanism to facilitate this process” adding, “free and fair elections are an inalienable democratic right of citizens”

gerakan agm 151011 chang ko youn
Chang noted that the electoral system had to keep up with the times “to respond effectively to contemporary challenges facing our election system”.

He added that Gerakan has submitted their position paper to the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reforms with five recommendations.

Apart from recommending allowing overseas voting, Gerakan also wanted the electoral roll to be “updated and sanitised” to remove duplication and ensure only “living and bona fide Malaysian citizens are registered”.

They supported the use of indelible ink saying, ”We do not believe that the use of indelible ink will impinge on the constitutional rights of any Malaysian.”

The other points mirrored Bersih 2.0’s demands of allowing free and fair access to “state funded media” to all political parties in order to give the voter “complete information”.

Finally, they called for vigorous monitoring of the electoral process and for the EC to be given enforcement powers to take the appropriate actions against election offenders. -
Malaysiakini, 13/11/2011, Gerakan: Overseas voting a citizen's right

There are a lot of reforms - every citizen should have an equal or equitable right of representation in Parliament- but alas, people in Kapar, KL and some of the towns do not have this.... In Kapar, 120,000 voters have only 1 MP - and this is not at all right. Every 40 - 50 thousand voters should have the right to one MP... (Of course rural constituents will be having the lower 40,000, an exception maybe for Sarawak or other rural areas where there is still no roads and public transport may be the exception...)

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