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Chaotic postal voting

  • It is not the first time the EC is facing such a challenge. It gives the public an impression the EC does not really value postal votes. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

As the polling day is drawing nearer and nearer, issues related to polling and ballot papers begin to receive tremendous concern among Malaysian voters, and the Election Commission will have to play a bigger role in sorting out the many problems that have arisen.

There have been a host of events that would put the EC in severe test ever since the nomination day. Even with decades of experience and five years of preparations, the EC is still facing numerous challenges and pressure this time, and the way they tackle problems remains much to be desired.

The rejection of Tian Chua's nomination and the new rulings concerning the images of Tun Mahathir and Liow Tiong Lai, etc. have triggered heated debates in the cyberspace, while the reversal of a ruling on the size of the cross to be put inside the box beside a candidate's name has since become a laughing stock.

If the EC wants to implement a new regulation, this should have been done prior to the nomination day or before the various political parties have initiated their election machinery so that the candidates will be better prepared. The confusion and chaos related to campaigning could have been avoided in the first place.

Postal voting has commanded the attention of voters in the last two days and this is poised to further dent the reputation and credibility of the EC.

EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah remains buoyant the postal votes from oversea voters will be received on time.

That said, problems regarding postal voting continue to be shared by concerned voters on social media sites.

A Sin Chew Daily senior reporter applied for postal voting as she has to carry out her journalistic duties on the poling day. She finally received two sets of differently numbered ballot papers both bearing her name.

As for oversea voters, many are still anxiously waiting for the arrival of their ballot papers. A Malaysian voter in Australia complained that he was told he would only receive his ballot papers on Tuesday. How do we expect the ballot papers to arrive at the specific Malaysian vote counting center by five on Wednesday evening?

Many voters in China, US and Taiwan had yet to receive their ballot papers by Sunday. Even if they receive them on Monday, there is no guarantee the ballot papers will reach the specific polling stations in Malaysia within two days.

The EC chairman says he is confident oversea voters will get to exercise their right to vote, but crossing the box is just one thing, getting the votes back here is a much more important issue. How to justify the claim oversea voters get to exercise their right to vote if their votes are nullified because of late arrival?

It is understood that postal votes will need several days to reach Malaysia and it is not the first time the EC is facing this challenge. Unfortunately the EC has not come up with remedial measures to minimize the incidence of spoiled votes.

This gives the public an impression the EC does not really value postal votes.


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