Malaysians Overseas Worry Their Ballot Papers Won't Reach In Time For GE14

SPR chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah advised postal voters not to worry as "there is still time."

Cover image via Barcelona - El Prat Int'l/YouTube

With GE14 just a few days away, Malaysian voters living abroad who have yet to receive their ballot papers in the mail have taken to social media to express their concern

Image via Mpoz Australia

Based on new guidelines, the Election Commission will post ballot papers to all overseas voters with the exception of those in Singapore and Southern Thailand.

However, it is up to the voters to mail their ballots back to their constituencies by 5pm on 9 May.

Some social media users took to Twitter to share their tracking information, which indicate that their ballot papers have not yet left Malaysia.

Even Malaysians who have received their ballot papers are concerned that their votes may not arrive in their constituencies by 9 May.

"The ballot papers can only reach our returning officers' address on time if we use a courier service, which can cost more than £60 (RM320)," UK resident Adrian Chan told The Star.

Charlene Wong-Podany, who resides in New Jersey, revealed to Channel News Asia that, "Short of chartering a private jet and flying off the moment DHL delivers my ballot papers, it is impossible to get it back in time..."

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah has advised postal voters awaiting their ballots not to fret, saying, "Insya Allah, there is still time"

Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah (right) visiting the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 5 May.

Image via Mohd Yusni Ariffin/New Straits Times

Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah has made assurances that all ballot papers will arrive in the hands of registered overseas voters and be returned to the election officers in their respective constituencies by 5pm on polling day.

"Do not be worried," he told reporters in Bukit Aman yesterday, according to Berita Harian.

Hashim guaranteed that "there are no technical issues" involved, and that SPR is fully confident that Pos Malaysia will ensure that every postal ballot arrives safely in the hands of registered voters

"I understand that everyone is excited to vote, which is why there is a concern that ballot papers have not arrived," he said.

According to the Berita Harian report, EC had announced that there are approximately 12,000 overseas voters and 299,000 postal voters.

Taking matters into their own hands, some Malaysians abroad have organised movements on social media in an effort to return as many postal votes to Malaysia by election day

Malaysians in the UK have created a Facebook group called Malaysia Memilih 2018 to coordinate the delivery of postal votes from London and Dublin to Kuala Lumpur.

Their last shipment will be arriving in KLIA on Tuesday, 8 May, a day before GE14.

Similarly, volunteers with Global Bersih are also offering to collect completed ballot papers and fly them back to Malaysia from locations such as New Zealand, Channel News Asia reported.

Global Bersih also encourages anyone who has submitted a postal voting application to participate in their data collection exercise for the purposes of future recommendations, proposals, or legal action.

The United Kingdom & Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC) is offering subsidies for the delivery charges of postal voting, to ease the financial burden of postal voters.

Image via UKEC/Facebook

Meanwhile, KPUM ASASI is collecting information from affected postal voters via a survey for the purposes of lodging a complaint against the EC.

Image via @kpum.asasi

Through a Facebook group called GE14: Postal Voters Discussion, a name list of Malaysians in cities around the world has been collected for voters who need a witness' signature for their ballot papers, or for help to deliver votes back to Malaysia.

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