Global Bersih thus urged all overseas Malaysians without an EC user account, to open one as soon as possible and those eligible to vote for the upcoming state elections, to register as overseas postal voters from June 15 even if they have registered as overseas postal voters before. – Photo from Facebook
KUCHING (June 12): Global Clean welcomes the recent opening of online registration for overseas postal voting in the upcoming state elections for Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Penang.
“It is appreciative of the Election Commission (EC) heeding our earlier calls to open registration without delay to relieve the pressure on both the EC and overseas voters caused by a short registration time frame.
“This is a move in the right direction towards Global Bersih’s recommendation to open registration for overseas postal voting, six months prior to the projected election date,” said the movement in a statement today.
Global Bersih thus urged all overseas Malaysians without an EC user account, to open one as soon as possible and those eligible to vote for the upcoming state elections, to register as overseas postal voters from June 15 even if they have registered as overseas postal voters before.
It reminded that overseas voters under the ‘Pengundi Tidak Hadir Luar Negara’ (PTH Luar Negara) category must check and update their address with the EC on or before June 23.
“PTH Luar Negara are overseas based government servants and their spouses, as well as overseas students in higher education institutions, and their spouses.
“We urge everyone to check their status at myspr.spr.gov.my/login to avoid problems later. More detailed information and guidance will be shared by Global Bersih on its social media channels,” said the movement.
To reduce the significant burden and expense carried by overseas voters to return their votes in time during previous elections, Global Bersih also called on the EC to allow non-Malaysians to act as witnesses on postal ballot documents.
The current requirement that postal ballot documents must be signed and witnessed by a Malaysian citizen, Global Bersih said had proven to be a stumbling block for many overseas Malaysians who live in areas with few or no other Malaysians.
Global Bersih also proposed that EC extend the campaign period to a minimum of 21-25 days to allow enough time for postal ballots to be sent to overseas voters and returned to polling stations.
It reasoned that campaign periods for previous elections had been far too short to allow overseas voters to receive and return ballots, and had necessitated the use of expensive courier services.
Global Bersih asserted that there is a need for a transparent and standardised standard operating procedure (SOP) on how ballots are dispatched to overseas Malaysians, which explicitly identifies the fastest and safest method for dispatch overseas ballots, and ensures that there will be a tracking number for each ballot.
“EC should also increase the effectiveness of overseas voter education and mobilisation using all possible channels, and in particular, explicitly solicit the assistance of Malaysian Foreign Missions and agencies responsible for students to distribute accurate and updated information,” said the movement.
Global Bersih said according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the population of the Malaysian diaspora already stood at 1,860,037 as of 2020.
“Thanks to the implementation of Undi18 and Automatic Voters Registration (AVR), the number of overseas Malaysians entitled to vote has significantly grown and is set to increase even further,” it added.
Global Bersih is an international non-partisan movement of overseas Malaysians focusing on electoral reform to advocate for the rights of the Malaysian diaspora.