Home Civil Society Voices Pilihan raya 2022: Pelajar tempatan mendesak dibenarkan undi pos (Malay/English)

Pilihan raya 2022: Pelajar tempatan mendesak dibenarkan undi pos (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Pada 24 Oktober, Inisiatif Siswa Balik telah melakukan bancian untuk menakar kesiapsiagaan pelajar kita untuk pulang mengundi.

Bancian tersebut telah mencapai 505 responden, dan kebanyakan dari mereka adalah dari Semenanjung, Sabah dan Sarawak. Daripada data ini, 42.6% menuntut pelajaran di Sarawak, 14.7% di Johor, 12.9% di Perlis, dan 12.5% di Selangor.

Kami mendapati 76.8% dari responden berkata bahawa mereka mahu pulang mengundi tetapi tidak mampu untuk menampung perbelanjaan pengangkutan yang tinggi ke kampung halaman. Selain dari itu, 62.1% dan 12.8% berkata mereka berasal dari Sarawak dan Sabah.

Dapatan bancian ini menyebabkan kami di Inisiatif Siswa Balik berasa gusar akan jumlah pengundi yang akan mengundi pada pilihan raya yang akan datang ini. Semenjak penurunan umur minima untuk mengundi dari 21 ke 18 telah dipateri, kami mempersoalkan kesungguhan kerajaan dalam memastikan keterlibatan pelajar dalam tatacara demokrasi kita ini.

Nombor-nombor di atas adalah bukti kukuh kesungguhan pelajar kita dalam mengundi, tetapi terhalang akibat masalah kewangan. Kos pengangkutan sebenarnya terlalu tinggi buat pelajar, apatah lagi apabila tambang penerbangan ulang alik mencapai lebih RM700 (di antara Kuching dan Kuala Lumpur).

Andai kebanyakan pelajar tempatan kita tidak boleh pulang mengundi, penurunan umur minima untuk mengundi hanya akan jadi janji kosong. Lebih-lebih lagi, jumlah pelajar Sarawak dan Sabah yang tidak dapat pulang mengundi mungkin akan meranapkan suara anak muda di wilayah-wilayah ini pada pilihan raya umum, andai masalah ini tidak diselesaikan cepat.

Di dalam bancian kami, kami juga bertanya adakah mereka bersetuju Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memberikan pelajar tempatan kebolehan mengundi secara pos: 83.4% daripada responden bersetuju dan 16.3% meminta agar kerajaan meletakkan harga tambang istimewa buat pelajar.

Maka kami memanggil dan mendesak SPR untuk mengambil cakna dan menyelesaikan masalah ini melalui membenarkan SEMUA pelajar Sarawak, khususnya yang menyambung pelajaran di negeri lain serta pelajar Sarawak yang menuntut pelajaran di tempat jauh dari menua asalnya hak untuk undi pos atau mengundi awal di insitut pengajian tinggi (termasuk institut swasta).

Kami tidak bersendirian dalam permintaan kami kerana panggilan serupa telah dibuat oleh pelbagai pihak, utamanya oleh mantan timbalan pengerusi SPR, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, yang melaporkan sebanyak 1.4 juta pelajar sukar untuk balik mengundi kerana kesempitan kewangan.

Kami di Siswa Balik, percaya tatacara mengundi itu patutnya dipermudah bagi melengkapi hak mengundi anak muda. Selama ini, kerajaan telah menaburkan cogan kata anak muda itu masa depan negara, tetapi kini tiba masa untuk kerajaan melunaskan intipati cogan yang dicanang – khususnya SPR, untuk mendengar dan mengambil langkah tangkas menangani masalah ini. Warga awam juga boleh menyokong usaha ini dengan menandatangani petisyen online yang kami telah mulakan.

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Sementara kami menunggu pihak yang berkenaan untuk meneliti permintaan kami, kami mengambil langkah untuk membantu sebaik kudrat dikurnia pada kami dengan melancarkan kempen kutipan dana untuk menolong pelajar kita pulang mengundi pada pilihan raya umum terdekat ini.

Kami sedar akan usaha ini memang tidak akan mencukupi untuk menampung semua keperluan pelajar, termasuklah pelajar semenanjung yang mahu pulang mengundi, tetapi semoga usaha kami yang kerdil ini dapat mengilhamkan ramai lagi rakyat kita untuk turut membantu sehabis mungkin.

Kami mengumumkan kempen #JuhBalitNgundi dan membuka permohonan kepada semua pelajar Sarawak kurang kemampuan yang menuntut pelajaran di Sarawak dalam memohon bantuan kos pengangkutan balik. Kempen ini dijayakan bersama Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (Rose) yang akan bersama-sama meluaskan peluang derma dana daripada rakyat Sarawak termasuk rakyat Malaysia secara amnya untuk membantu pelajar kita balik mengundi.

Sebagai sedikit penerangan, dengan RM110 sudah mencukupi untuk menghantar pulang seorang pelajar dari Kuching ke Miri, dan dengan RM200 dari Kuching ke Limbang menggunakan bas atau van. Sudah tentu, andai pelajar itu dari kawasan pedalaman seperti Baram, jumlahnya akan meningkat sedikit.

Kami akan berterima kasih dan nyiru kami tadahkan walau sekecil mana sumbangan diberikan. Kami menyasarkan dalam RM50,000 sumbangan diterima bagi mencukupi semua kos-kos pengangkutan berkenaan.

Bersama Rose, kami menyeru kepada semua rakyat Sarawak dan rakyat Malaysia untuk menyokong usaha kami, dan melabur dalam masa depan Sarawak dengan menyokong kempen #JuhBalitNgundi. Terima kasih atas sumbangan yang diberikan! – Rose/CSO Platform for Reform (Sarawak)

Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat
CIMB Bank, no. akaun: 8603651618

English version

Local students demand postal votes

On 24 October Siswa Balik Initiative conducted a survey to gauge our local student’s readiness to return home to vote.

The survey reached a total of 505 respondents as of now, and these respondents are from the peninsula, Sabah, and Sarawak. From this data, 42.6% of the respondents studied in Sarawak, 14.7% in Johor, 12.9% in Perlis, and 12.5% in Selangor.

We found that 76.8% of the respondents said that they wanted to vote; however, they couldn’t afford the high cost of travelling back to where they are registered as voters. It is also not a surprise that 62.1% and 12.8% respectively said that their hometown is located in Sarawak and Sabah.

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From the findings, we in Siswa Balik Initiative, are very worried about the upcoming election’s voter turnout, especially by the youths. Since the move to lower the minimum voting age to 18 has been ratified, we question the government’s commitment in realising youth participation in the democratic process.

These numbers are proof that youths are eager to exercise their voting rights and take part in the electoral process of this country, but they are hindered by financial constraints. The transport costs are simply too high for students, especially when the flight fares reach more than RM700 (Kuching to Kuala Lumpur return).

If the majority of our local students can’t return home and vote, then the lowering of the minimum voting age will sadly amount to [the fulfilment of] only an empty promise. Moreover, staggering number of Sabahan and Sarawakian students who can’t return to vote in our data may also indicate embarrassingly low youth representation in the upcoming general election, if this issue is not remedied.

Further in our survey, we asked the respondents whether they agree that the Election Commission should allow students studying locally in Malaysia the right to postal voting: 83.4% of the respondents agreed that they should be entitled for postal voting facilities, while 16.3% wished that the government would give students special heavily discounted transport price rates.

We thus call upon and demand that the Election Commission step in and resolve this matter by granting all Sarawakian students, specifically those who are pursuing their studies in other states and those studying far away from their menua asal, the right to vote by post or alternatively vote in advance from their respective institutes of higher education (including private institutes).

We are not alone in this demand and there have been similar calls, including by former Election Commission deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, who said that 1.4 million students will be unable to vote due to financial constraints.

We, in Siswa Balik, ardently believe in accessible voting as an integral part of youth voting rights, and we should always make the voting process easier. All this time, the government has been promoting the youth as the future leaders of this country, but all of this has been reduced to merely political tokens.

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It is high time for government, politicians, and the Election Commission to take heed and take immediate action to remedy this problem. Members of the public can sign our online petition which we have started.

In the meantime, while waiting for the authorities to look into our demands and to show that we are sincere in filling the gaps that threaten to rob us of our voice, we will be moving a campaign to help our fellow students get home to vote this coming general election.

We are painfully aware that what we aim to do here is only a drop in the ocean as there are many students studying in the peninsula who also wish to come back to vote. But we believe in the motto “if not us, who will?”

We therefore announce the launch of our #JuhBalitNgundi campaign and open up applications to all Sarawakian students studying in public institutes of higher learning in Sarawak who are not able to afford transport costs to apply for sponsorship. For this campaign we are collaborating with Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (Rose), who will make an appeal for funds or donations from the Sarawakian public, including Malaysians in general, to help send the students home to vote.

To give you an indication, with RM110 you can send a student from Kuching to Miri, and with RM200 from Kuching to Limbang by bus or van. But of course, if the student is from deeper in the inland like in Baram, it will cost much more.

Having said that, no amount is too small and all contributions towards this campaign are appreciated. Our crowdfunding target for this initiative is RM50,000.

Together with Rose, we urge and appeal specifically to all orang Sarawakians and Malaysians in general to rally behind our efforts and invest in the future of Sarawak by making a contribution to support #JuhBalitNgundi campaign. Thank you for your generous donation to this initiative. – Rose/CSO Platform for Reform (Sarawak)

Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat
CIMB Bank, account number: 8603651618

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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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.

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