Home Civil Society Voices Election Commission should facilitate voter participation in Johor election

Election Commission should facilitate voter participation in Johor election

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We, the representatives from civil society organisations and concerned citizens of Malaysia, urge the Election Commission to implement essential procedural measures that would encourage the participation of overseas and ‘outstation’ [out-of-state] voters in the upcoming Johor state poll.

Based on recent state elections, Covid cross-border travel limitations combined with delayed deliveries of postal ballots to overseas voters could pose a hindrance to these communities from performing their duties as Malaysians.

For example, it is estimated that there are around 400,000 Malaysians working and residing in Singapore alone. From that figure, about 200,000 are eligible voters in this upcoming Johor state election.

Would it be fair for them to be denied their right to vote just because we have not updated our processes and procedures to get in with the times?

Malaysians, no matter where they reside, should not be disenfranchised from exercising this ultimate democratic right.

It is incumbent on the Election Commission to consult with overseas Malaysians and outstation voters to understand the concern and challenges when it comes to voting, especially in the era of endemic Covid.

In the lead up to its meeting on Wednesday, 9 February 2022, we the undersigned, call on the Election Commission to fulfil our following demands:

1. Enable voters to return to vote

Work with the Federal government to expand Vaccine Travel Lane (VTL) allocations for voters to return home to vote. Polling booth operating hours should be extended to accommodate necessary cross border-testing and checks.

2. Establish overseas polling stations

For those unable to return home, embassies and high commissions in the respective countries can be centres where voters drop their postal ballots. Similar arrangements were implemented in the 2013 general election.

READ MORE:  Short campaign periods make it hard to return postal ballots in time
3. Early voting in campus for students

For students who are now on campus and undergoing exam, a dedicated facility should be set up to facilitate early voting. This will also reduce the need for them to travel back to their hometowns to vote.

4. Enable postal voting for Johor voters in Sabah and Sarawak.

The Election Commission in the respective states of Sabah and Sarawak shall assist in collecting ballots and ferry them back to Johor.

8 February 2022

Endorsed by:

  1. Persatuan Pengundi Muda (Undi18)
  2. Research for Social Advancement (Refsa)
  3. Institute for Research & Development of Policy
  4. The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas)
  5. Iman Research
  6. Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS)
  7. Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih)
  8. Aliran
  9. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim)
  10. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
  11. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (Gerak)
  12. Dewan Belia India Malaysia
  13. Arus Anak Muda
  14. Angkatan Demokrat
  15. Youth in Politics (YPolitics)
  16. Pertubuhan Solidaritas
  17. Jaringan Kebajikan Komuniti
  18. Institut Nyala
  19. Engage Network
  20. Pusat Komas
  21. Terabai Kenyalang Heritage Association of Sarawak (TKHAS)
  22. Family Frontiers
  23. Pacos Trust
  24. Advancing Knowledge in Democracy and Law Initiative
  25. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
  26. Save Malaysia Stop Lynas
  27. Ikram Malaysia
  28. New Student Movement Alliance of Malaysia (Nesa)
  29. Malaysia Youths and Students Evolution Johor branch
  30. Malaysia Youths and Students Evolution Malacca branch
  31. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
  32. KLSCAH Youth
  33. Sisters In Islam
  34. Monsoon Malaysia (MM)
  35. Youtar
  36. Voice of Youtharian
  37. Beyond Borders Malaysia
  38. Tenaganita
  39. G25 Malaysia
  40. Center for Independent Journalism
  41. Badan Perhubungan Negara United Kingdom & Eire (BPN UKE)
  42. Institut Demokrasi & Emansipasi Anak Muda Belia (Idea Belia)
  43. University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany)
The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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