Chronicles of Macam Mana 2.0

I was previously denied my legal right to vote by our Malaysian government. I have chronicled it on my previous blog. However, I have just noticed that most of the links to SPR are broken and I thought that I should update the entry a little here, with some recent thoughts on the issue of postal voters.

As a background, I was denied my right to vote as a postal voter in the 2008 elections. I tried to register myself as one while I was studying in the UK and was vehemently denied by the Malaysian High Comm in London. I still have copies of the correspondence with me.

I would like to highlight the relevant parts of the law that says that students studying overseas are allowed to vote by post.

As specified in the Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003 – Part II – Section 3(1)(a):

Persons entitled to vote as postal voters
3. (1) Any person who has registered as a Parliamentary or State elector under the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, and is –
(a) an absent voter;
(b) a person certified by the Election Commission to be an election officer and liable for duties on polling day;
(c) a member of any police force established by any written law in force in Malaysia, other than a member of the Police Volunteer Reserve Force;
(d) a member of any of the public services who on poling day is employed full-time in a post outside Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak;
(e) a member of the Election Commission appointed under Article 114 of the Federal Constitution; or
(f) a member of any category of persons designated as postal voters by the Election Commission from time to time by notification in the Gazette, shall, on receipt of a postal ballot paper, be entitled to vote as a postal voter at an election in accordance with these Regulations.

The definition of “absent voter” can be found in Part I – Section 2 – of the same regulations:

2. In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Form 2” means a declaration of the identity of a postal voter and bearing the ballot paper number;
“agent” means the election agent or any person appointed to attend in the election agent’s place;
“postal ballot paper” means a ballot paper issued to a postal voter;
“issue” includes the original and any subsequent issue;
“postal voter” means any person entitled to vote under regulation 3;
“absent voter” has the meaning assigned to it in the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 [P.U.(A) 293/2002];
“envelope A” means a covering envelope bearing the words “ballot paper envelope” and “ballot paper number”;
“envelope B” means a covering envelope bearing the words “returning officer” for the return of envelope A and Form 2.

So, look up the relevant Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 – Part I – Section 2(e):

“absent voter” means a citizen who has attained the age of twenty-one years on the qualifying date and is-
(a) a serving member of any regular naval, military or air force of Malaysia, the Commonwealth or other country;
(b) the spouse of a serving member of any force referred to in paragraph (a), who elects to become an absent voter;
(c) in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law, who is on duty outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak;
(d) the spouse of a person in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law who is living with her or his husband or wife outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak at the date of application for
registration as a Parliamentary or State elector,
(e) engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak; or
(f) the spouse of a person engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak who is living with her or his husband or wife at the date of application for registration as a Parliamentary or State elector.

Don’t believe me? Read the documents for yourself.

Now I wish that the Elections Commission will tell me why I was not allowed to vote by postal ballot; and tell me that our election system is running perfectly fine when I and thousands of others like myself have been disenfranchised illegally by the Elections Commission.

I wonder what their little booklet says about this.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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