Overseas Malaysians find ways to ensure ballots reach Malaysia on time


Malaysians abroad are pooling resources to ensure their ballots reach the country on time, with one couple deciding to make the drive across the Causeway themselves.

Housewife Joanna Tan Sue Mae, 53, said she and her husband got their ballots on Monday but were worried they would not be able to send them back on time.

“I decided to come back to Malaysia to post our postal votes on Tuesday,” she said, adding that the postal registration process was easy.

“In March, we registered as postal voters and voted in the Johor state elections. At that time, the border was still closed and volunteers helped collect and send our ballots back to Johor,” she said.

Tan and her husband are voters in the Tebrau parliamentary constituency.

There are more than 4,000 people registered as postal voters in Singapore.

Business development executive Farrah Diyana Mohammad Ali, 34, who has been working in Singapore for about 10 years, is a volunteer who has been helping Malaysians in Singapore to send their ballots home.

“This is the second time we are volunteering to deliver the ballots. The first was during the Johor state election, where volunteers send the ballots back by bus.

“This time, two volunteers will fly to Kuala Lumpur on Nov 17 while 15 of us will drive across.

“The ballots will all be sent to Kuala Lumpur to be sorted before being delivered to the respective returning officers,” said the 1third Media Movement volunteer.

The 1third Media Movement is among NGOs worldwide that are working with Undi18 to bring Malaysians’ ballots back to the country.

Undi18 co-founder and advocacy director Tharma Pillai said they were aiming to deliver some 50,000 ballots from Malaysians all over the world.

“We are working with about 18 youth and student organizations around the world,” he said.

“We have also received flight sponsorship from Malaysia Airlines for the ballots to be delivered from five countries, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

“The ballots are expected to reach KLIA between Nov 16 and 18,” he said.

Meanwhile, with only three days left until the Nov 19 deadline, some Malaysians living overseas are still waiting for their postal ballot papers to arrive.

A voter in Los Angeles said she was still waiting for her ballot papers as of Tuesday.

“At this point, I do not know if it will arrive by Nov 19 and I am also trying to figure out if I will be able to find a courier who could send the vote back to Malaysia on time.

“There has been no update on the tracking status. It looks like I will not be able to vote this time around,” said the executive from Petaling Jaya who moved to the US after her marriage.




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