Meet The M'sian In Japan Who Squeezed His Postal Vote Through With Only 3 Minutes To Spare

Nothing was going to stop this young man from voting!

Cover image via Azalia & Kok Hin

26-year-old Ooi Kok Hin, a Malaysian in Japan, only had 60 minutes to send off his ballot papers to a DHL centre on 7 May

Image via Ooi Kok Hin

Hin's ballot reached him at 5pm and he had only an hour to send it back to Malaysia. But he did it anyway.

His inspiring story was shared by his friend, Azalia Zaharuddin on Twitter and has gone viral since then. 

We reached out to Kok Hin and Azalia to hear more about their crazy last-minute adventure as postal voters in Japan

SAYS: How old are you and what brings the both of you to Japan?

Kok Hin: I'm 26 and I'm here to study Masters in political science. Currently learning Japanese at a language center in Tokyo before heading off to my university.

Azalia: I'm also 26 this year, a PhD student at University Utsonomiya.

SAYS: Which constituency are you voting at?

Kok Hin: N34 Paya Terubong, P051 Bukit Gelugor.

Azalia: P117 Segambut.

Kok Hin told us that Azalia received her parcel earlier and had already arranged for DHL pickup but his ballot arrived just one hour before DHL’s closing time

“The EC can only print the ballot papers after the candidates are finalis*ed on nomination day, which was on 28 April. But my parcel was sent on 3 May and was scheduled to arrive on 7 May,” he said.

"I waited for it the entire day and even called DHL twice. Finally, it arrived at 5pm. I wasted no time and immediately ran to take a train to DHL distribution centre in Koto, Tokyo, some 40 minutes away from Shinjuku because it closes at 6pm."

Kok Hin had to run a further 1.2km under the heavy rain from the train station to the DHL distribution centre and arrived at 5.57pm - 3 minutes before closing time

Image via Ooi Kok Hin

He added, "I had to run without an umbrella because that would have slowed me down."

Drenched in the rain, Kok Hin managed to earn the courier's worker sympathy, who was very helpful in helping the former with the parcel. 

"I paid around RM200 and they assured me that my parcel would arrive in time back in Malaysia," Kok Hin said.  

Meanwhile, the pair expressed disappointment in the statement made by caretaker deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed that the outcome of GE14 would be unaffected by overseas voters as they make up less than 0.1% of total voters

Azalia said, "At the end of the day, it's not about the 0.1%, win, or lose, but to me, it's about the ability to exercise our right as Malaysians to vote no matter where we are."

Kok Hin added, "Azalia and I are first-time voters and we are really glad to be able to vote. We hope that more people get to have their votes counted. Voting shouldn't be this difficult.

"Overseas postal voters in this GE numbered only about 8,000. But this 8,000 bothered to go through all the trouble to perform our constitutional duty."

In closing, Kok Hin highlighted the effort put in by Malaysian postal voters overseas, saying that there are plenty out there who did more than him

Kok Hin, from Penang, said he applied for postal voting as soon as he obtained his permanent address in Japan

Image via Ooi Kok Hin

He said, "There are many amazing Malaysians enabling each other to vote. I followed the GE14 Postal Voters Discussion Facebook group and there are so many stories of people helping to carry strangers' postal votes back.

"There are also some who took a chance to go to the airport and randomly asked any Malaysian-looking people to carry their votes back. Our numbers may be small, but the spirit is remarkable. Truly amazed by their efforts."

If you're an overseas registered voter but was not able to cast your vote in time, please fill up this survey by Global Bersih.

Also, don't forget to bookmark the SAYS GE14 website for real-time poll results today. Happy voting!

Image via SAYS

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