Once Parliament was dissolved yesterday, many excited Malaysians residing overseas began flooding the Election Commission (EC) website to register themselves as postal voters, but they were mostly left disappointed.
The website, which contains a form known as “Borang B1”, has been inaccessible since yesterday. It is still not working as of 4.30pm today.
This had led to widespread complaints appearing on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, mostly on the EC’s inability to deal with such a minor issue.
Natalie Chia, who resides in Taiwan, told Malaysiakini that a Taipei-based group of Bersih 2.0 supporters had came to the rescue by distributing “Borang B1” to Malaysians in Taiwan and China.
“They took over the responsibility of the EC and did it well,” said Chia, who added that the group had also established a telephone hotline to answer queries.
A Malaysian doctor working in England, who requested anonymity, was not as lucky and had only the EC website to rely on.
“The website was very slow. When I finally managed to access the webpage, the link to ‘pengundi di luar negara’ (overseas voters) did not work.
“As a result, I have missed the opportunity of being a part of the upcoming Malaysian election unless I make the 16-hour trip home, which is very difficult,” she told Malaysiakini.EC’s credibility affected
The doctor was unhappy that she had missed the deadline – midnight last night – to submit her application because of EC’s inability to ensure that its website was functional.
Important information for the Overseas Postal Voters
Eligible overseas voters will have to fill and submit an application form that is available on the EC website.
When the general election is called, the EC will announce the date and time for eligible voters to collect the ballot paper from the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission.
Voters are encouraged to cast their votes at the mission, although they may also return the ballot paper to the mission the following day.
If they choose to pick up the ballot paper outside of the designated time, they can post the ballot to an EC office in Malaysia – so long as it arrives by 5pm on polling day.
The B1 application form can be accessed here.
The guideline to fill up the form can be accessed here.
A sample of the completed form can be viewed here.
Political parties allowed to appoint agents to monitor postal voting at Malaysian embassies: EC
March 16, 2013
SHAH ALAM, March 16 – All political parties will be allowed to appoint representatives or agents to monitor the handing over of ballot papers by postal voters abroad for the coming 13th general election, Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said today.
He said political parties intending to do so were required to send the names of their representatives or agents to the EC which would then send the list to the Malaysian embassies abroad.
“The process of handing over the ballot papers which is done at the handing over centres at the Malaysian embassies abroad can be monitored by appointed observers.
“Only bearers of names which have been registered are allowed to observe the process.
“They will be issued with a pass that will have their name and the party they represent,” he told reporters after a briefing for local observers in the coming 13th general election here.
Wan Ahmad said each political party would be allowed to appoint at least 10 representatives who should be Malaysians aged 21 and above.
“Only one representative can monitor the process at one time because the space where the process is going to be held is limited.
“They can take turn because the process is going to take a long time,” he added.
He said the EC had appointed five NGOs, namely, the Merdeka Centre, Institute For Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia Youth Council, Malaysian Confederation of the Disabled and the Centre For Public Policy Study.
This way, it could give a message to the people that the election process in the country is transparent and according to the law, he added. – Bernama
“The EC’s decision to allow all Malaysians abroad to register online and through e-mail has proven to be effective as many took the opportunity to do so,” Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
Over 1,700 Malaysians abroad register for postal voting
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — A total of 1,779 applications for postal voting have been received from Malaysians abroad so far since online registration was launched on December 21 last year.
Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the highest number of applications came from Australia with 406, followed by the United Kingdom (323), the United States (131), China (104) and Qatar (91).
He said among the requirements for Malaysians to vote overseas were that they must already be a registered voter and have returned to Malaysia within 30 days in a five-year period before Parliament is dissolved.
Wan Ahmad said Malaysians overseas who have registered as a voter and would like to use postal voting can download the application form (Borang 1B) through the EC website, http://www.spr.gov.my. — Bernama
PY Wong, Tindak Malaysia:
Breakdown of the overseas voting process:
Nomination Day, Day 1: Identify candidates and their sequence on the ballot paper through drawing lots.
Day 3: Government printer prints ballot papers.
Day 4: Ballots sent to EC in Putrajaya.
Day 5: EC in Putrajaya sends postal ballots to EC in each state.
Day 6: State ECs distribute to ballots the returning officer (RO) for each constituency. RO informs the candidate.
Day 7: RO and the polling agent for postal voting (PACAPOS) distribute postal ballots and seal in main envelope.
Day 8: RO dispatches postal ballots to EC in Putrajaya.
Day 9: EC in Putrajaya sends postal ballots to the Foreign Ministry.
Day 12: Foreign Ministry delivers postal ballots to various embassies.
Day 15: Embassy informs postal voters by post or posts to them.
Day 18: Postal voter returns ballot to the embassy.
Day 21: Embassy couriers return postal ballots to the Foreign Ministry.
Day 22: Foreign Ministry sends postal ballots to EC in Putrajaya.
Day 23: EC in Putrajaya sorts out and sends direct to ROs.
Day 24: Postal ballots reach the RO.
Wong said that three days also needed to be set aside for public holidays and possible delays, making it a total of 27 days.
Doubts cast over two-week overseas voting period
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 ― At least 24 days is required for overseas voting instead of the two weeks proposed by the Election Commission (EC), electoral reform NGO Tindak Malaysia said yesterday.
With the 13th general election fast approaching, EC deputy chief Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told ABC Radio Australia last Wednesday that there would be two weeks between the nomination and polling days for ballot papers to be sent overseas, for the casting of votes, and for the tallying of votes back at their respective constituencies in Malaysia on polling day.
“Two weeks definitely not enough,” Tindak Malaysia representative PY Wong told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.
“What we need is to challenge the EC. Give us a detailed breakdown for each operation… the important thing is to give overseas voters a proper opportunity to vote, not to have a sandiwara (drama) where you give them postal votes and it doesn’t come back in time,” he added.
Bersih 2.0 UK Walk has the right idea!
|4:50PM Jan 22, 2013|
Overseas Malaysians intending to vote by post in the next general election must fulfil several conditions.
A key requirement is that they must have returned home for at least 30 days over the last five years before the next dissolution of Parliament.
The five-year period is calculated from April 28, 2008, when the current session of Parliament commenced.
The EC will check with the immigration department to ascertain whether the applicants have satisfied the 30-day requirement.
“Malaysians voting abroad have to first register with the Election Commission and get themselves certified as eligible voters before they come to the consulate to vote,” Consul-general, Syed Mohammed Bakri Syed Abdul Rahman said.
The Malaysian consulate-general in New York is preparing for the first-ever voting allowed to Malaysians living abroad for the upcoming 13th general election.
The New York consulate has a large jurisdiction that embraces 17 states in the United States. Malaysian passport holders residing in these states can come to the New York consulate to cast their ballot.
However, Malaysia’s consul-general, Syed Mohammed Bakri Syed Abdul Rahman, told Bernama at his office in New York that it was “very important” for Malaysian nationals interested in casting their votes to first read and understand the guidelines for overseas voting available on the Election Commission’s website.
Malaysians living in South Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia will have to return home to vote in the 13th general election, said the Election Commission (EC).
Its secretary, Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria, said they were not entitled to the postal voting facilities for Malaysians living abroad.
He said in South Thailand, they were made up of Malaysians living in the Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla and Satun provinces.
EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar claimed that other Malaysian missions in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Sydney, London and Singapore do not have any problem in voter registration
|1:09PM Dec 30, 2012|
The Election Commission (EC) has clarified that the Malaysian consulate general in Shanghai has not be ordered to stop registering voters and that it problem might be due to a technical issue.
According to Sin Chew Daily yesterday, EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said that the commission was unaware of the matter and would be making enquiries with the foreign ministry.
Last week, a member of the Shanghai Bersih 2.0 supporters group had told Malaysiakini that the consulate general had stopped registering voters since July.
The consulate staff had told the person that “there was no directive from the higher authority” to hold register voters, despite the fact that other Malaysian missions are doing so.
Carpool Democracy: Malaysians Prepare to Head Home for Landmark Elections
Democracy activists are preparing to carpool tens of thousands of Malaysians back home from abroad to vote, as Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy prepares for general elections in the spring.
Malaysia doesn’t currently issue absentee ballots except for students, government officials and their spouses. So in order for the hundreds of thousands of Malaysian expatriates in the neighboring city state of Singapore to vote, they’ll have to travel back to their hometowns. Bersih Singapore, a Singapore-based group of Malaysian democracy activists, is hoping to resolve the situation through carpooling. They have set up a website to match up drivers with potential passengers online, making sure that everyone can get back to their 165 constituencies all across Malaysia.
Another online movement, JomBalikUndi, is collecting photos of Malaysians holding placards calling for the estimated one million Malaysians living and working abroad to “fly home” to to vote. However, these expatriates might still get to have their voice heard, as Parliament may still approve absentee voting by mail in its final session before the elections.
Despite repeated calls from the Election Commission (EC) for Malaysians living abroad to register as voters at their respective embassies, Malaysians in Shanghai, China were told by their consulate general that this cannot be done.
Tan Yoke Suan, a member of Shanghai Bersih supporters group, told Malaysiakini that she was initially informed by friends that the consulate general in Shanghai has stopped registering voters since July this year.
She confirmed it herself on Wednesday.
“Currently the consulate general still does not accept the registration of ordinary voters on the grounds that there is no directive from the higher authority,” she said when contacted.
ARE YOU ONE OF THE HUGE NUMBER OVERSEA WHO WANT TO VOTE WHILE OVERSEAS?
Follow this Post which tries to bring you the latest updates…
www.facebook.com/MyOverseasVote – Cached
myoverseasvote.org – Cached
Currently, only three categories of Malaysian citizens to register as absent voters:
1 Those serving members of a Malaysian, Commonwealth or foreign military and their spouses.
2 Government servants serving outside Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak and their spouses.
3 Full-time students studying outside Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak and their spouses.
The steps to take if you want to be an oversea voters
1 Register as an ordinary voter.
2 Do this at any Malaysian foreign mission.
3 If or when the proposal to allow for oversea postal voting is implemented, apply to vote by post.
*You must have returned to Malaysia at least once in the past five years.
THE ELECTION COMMISSION IS MOSTLY ALL TALK AND NO ACTION..
|5:13PM Dec 26, 2012|
Losing confidence with the Election Commission’s (EC) pledge that laws will be amended for Malaysians abroad to vote as postal voters in the next general election, some overseas voters have launched campaigns calling on fellow citizens to return to the country to vote.
MyOverseasVote (MOV), a group formed by overseas Malaysians to lobby for their voting rights in the next general election, said in a statement issued last Friday that the proposal to enable overseas Malaysians to vote has yet to be implemented since it was first considered by the commission in February, 2011, almost two years ago.
It pointed out that the EC has repeatedly missed the implementation deadlines since the proposal was accepted by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform in April this year.
The EC has earlier announced that voters who register themselves before Dec 31 could still vote if the 13th general election is called in February or March 2013.
For Malaysians abroad, although they still cannot vote through postal ballots as the laws have yet to be amended, the EC has called on them to register as ordinary voters with the Malaysian embassies before they are allowed to register as postal voters.
EC firming up postal vote for Malaysians abroad
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Postal voting facilities for Malaysian citizens living abroad, apart from absentee voters, will be implemented for the 13th general election.
Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria said it was in line with recommendations from the Parliamentary Select Committee On Improving The Election Process for Malaysians living abroad and absentee voters to be given postal voting facilities.
For this to be implemented, the EC was finalising the policies, logistics planning, manpower and financial allocations before amendments on the Election Regulations (Postal Voting) 2003 was made, he said.
“After the regulations are finalised, the EC will set a date for its implementation and will be brought for approval by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Following this, the regulations will be gazetted and then tabled at the Dewan Rakyat,” he said in a statement here today.
Kamaruddin explained that although the third meeting of the fifth session of the 12th Dewan Rakyat had ended, and new regulations had not been tabled, it did not mean the regulations could not be enforced during the GE.
“The EC will ensure that the date for implementation of the regulations is set, so it can be used in the general election.
“Tabling of the regulations at Dewan Rakyat, according to Section 17 of the Election Act 1958, is required by law after it is approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, setting of the enforcement date and gazetting of the regulations are done,” he said.
With the enforcement of the regulations, Malaysians who meet the EC’s requirements will be eligible for postal voting. — Bernama
Postal voting mechanism to be tabled
Last updated on 20 November 2012 – 09:42am
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 19, 2012):The mechanism to allow all Malaysians residing overseas to vote via post in the next 13th general election will be tabled in Parliament by this session which ends on Nov 27.
Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar yesterday said meetings are currently ongoing with the Foreign Ministry and Immigration Department, among others, to finalise the process.
“Necessary amendments to the electoral regulations are also being prepared by the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” Wan Ahmad told theSun when contacted after a two-hour briefing with lawmakers in Parliament.
He said the amendments will involve inserting a regulation which states that any Malaysian residing overseas must return home at least once in five years before being allowed to vote.
“The other matter is to convert their status from ordinary voters to postal voters.
“Once the new regulations are gazetted, it will be tabled in Parliament by this session,” he added.
Free Malaysia Today
Malaysians overseas will be allowed to vote
Pakatan Rakyat MPs were also promised by the Election Commission that Rela officers would remain as normal voters.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) today promised to get the Parliament to gazette regulations to allow Malaysians overseas to vote in the next general election.
DAP MP Anthony Loke said this at a press conference held at the Parliament lobby today. Also present were PKR MPs Fuziah Salleh and Nurul Izzah Anwar.
This was revealed to the parliamentarians by the EC is a meeting held at the Parliament secretariat room. The meeting was chaired by EC chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof and his deputy Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
The nearly three hours meeting was attended by about 50 MPs from both sides of the political divide.
Loke, who is Rasah MP, said he was glad by the assurance given by the EC. However, he also reminded the electoral body that they had only two weeks to gazette the required regulations.
“I told them that they only have two weeks. The next parliamentary session will be held only after the 13th general election,” he said.
Malaysians living outside the country will have the chance to vote in the upcoming 13th General Election, promised the Election Commission in a special briefing for Pakatan Rakyat MPs in Parliament House today.
“That was EC’s commitment,” DAP’s election director Anthony Loke told reporters at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today.
He related that the EC promised this in a special briefing attended by over forty Pakatan Rakyat MPs in the Parliament building earlier this afternoon.
To qualify as an overseas postal voter, one must already be registered with the Commission as a voter and must have returned to Malaysia at least once in the past five years.
|Saturday, 20 October 2012 20:37|
PETALING JAYA: All Malaysians overseas can apply online from as early as next month to vote by post at the coming 13th general election, Election Commission deputy chairman said.
To do so, a special version of the “Form 1” application form will be made available for download from the EC website.
The Commission will also conduct a public awareness campaign to encourage Malaysians abroad to vote.
“Very soon, maybe next month, we will upload the form that can be accessed by Malaysians all over the world who are already registered voters, to request to receive their ballot papers by post,” he said.
Amendments that will enable overseas voting will be ready by the end of the current parliamentary sitting, said Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.
“We have got feedback from the attorney-general and we are finalising (amendments to) the regulations and the forms…,” he told a press conference at the EC headquarters today.
“It turns out that constitutional and legislative changes are not necessary, just (to) the regulations and forms. We’ll have to table these in Parliament.”
Despite pressure from some Malaysians overseas, the Election Commission (EC) is still waiting for the answer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the proposal of granting postal voter status to citizens abroad.
“I don’t dare to guarantee (the date), but very soon,” replied EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof when asked when the AG’s Chambers will give its feedback.
During a press conference this morning at the EC headquarters in Putrajaya, Abdul Aziz explained that the AG’s Chambers is studying whether amendment to the federal constitution, the election acts or election regulations are needed to enable all overseas Malaysians to become postal voters.
Abdul Aziz had, on Aug 25, 2011, announced that all Malaysians living overseas would be able to vote by post and the proposal was later recommended by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform in April 2012.
Frustrated with the ineptness of Malaysian embassies and high commissions over the issue of overseas voters, Malaysians abroad have taken their own initiative to produce a comprehensive frequently-asked-question (FAQ) document on the issue.
They hope the FAQ will not only will benefit their overseas peers but also the Malaysian foreign missions, who can also use it as training material for their staff members.
The 14-page FAQ, covering issues such as eligibility of overseas Malaysians to register as postal voters, the registration procedures, and how to cast postal ballot from overseas, was prepared last November by Malaysians living in Switzerland.
The questions were prepared by them while the answers were provided by the Election Commission (EC) with the help of the Malaysian Embassy in Berne, Switzerland.