The jurisdiction lies with the director-general of prisons, and a prisoner should apply to the director-general to allow him to go to his polling station.
Judge in Anwar’s case says prisoners have right to vote
Malaysians held in prison have the right to vote, but they must write to the Prisons Department director-general for permission if they want to exercise the right.
However, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today dismissed Anwar Ibrahim’s originating summons for not being able to vote in the last Permatang Pauh by-election because he named the Election Commission (EC) as one of the respondents.
Anwar’s lawyer N Surendran said despite the court dismissing the application, the decision is still important as it means thousands of prisoners can exercise their right to vote.
This, Surendran said, follows the previous EC statement that Anwar is not allowed to vote.
“This is an important decision, despite Anwar losing. However, we have decide to appeal this decision,” he said.
He had sought from the court a declaration, under Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, that he be allowed to vote.
Senior federal counsel Amarjit Singh told reporters that the EC did not deny Anwar his right to vote as the EC has no such power. However, Anwar had to write to the director-general of Prisons Department to be allowed out of the prison to cast his vote.
“Since he is a prisoner, the EC has no jurisdiction over prisoners. The jurisdiction lies with the director-general of prisons, and a prisoner should apply to the director-general to allow him to go to his polling station.”