LETTER | “By God’s will, there is still time.” This was the best answer EC chairperson Mohd Hashim Abdullah (above) could give us when questioned about the absence of ballot papers for overseas voters.
I speak from the perspective of overseas family members who ended-up not receiving their ballot papers at all even after the election. They are perhaps one of the many victims all over the world that were not able to contribute to the historical 14th general election that saw the fall of BN as the ruling coalition after 61 years.
With these sort of tinkering by the EC then came inspirational stories like Ooi Kok Hin, the Malaysian student in Japan who ran under the rain to ensure his postal vote arrives in time, numerous patriotic citizens offering to ferry postal votes personally on their way home and also car-pooling to return home to vote.
The said family members also added they were pleasantly surprised that the flight back to Malaysia from Abu Dhabi was pretty much packed with Malaysians who are eager to return home to vote instead of relying on postal votes. “Despite it being a plane on a foreign country, it really felt like a Malaysian pasar (market) within the cabin” they said.
Though it may be heart-warming to hear such stories, situations like these really raise a lot of red flags with regards to the reliability of the Election Commission. Their track record has not been exactly great since the 13th general election given the numerous accounts of fake votes being ferried around on Facebook Live videos as well as taking up to midnight to properly announce the results of the election.
The 14th general election was no different either but it seems the EC manages to even smash their previous record. With even more cases of the rakyat (citizens) foiling fake votes ferried in car trunks as well as only announcing the full results of the 14th general election at nearly 4 am in the morning.
The EC is perhaps the most important body when it comes to determining the future of Malaysia. Because they are the ones overseeing the entire election process. They should constantly be objective, independent and must always be on standby with solutions and explanations should any issue occur during the polling day.
It is not the place whereby you investigate the non-existent postal ballot papers for Malaysians abroad on the day of the polling itself because clearly the investigation should have been done earlier to find a solution.
It is not the place whereby you release official results of an election in the wee hours of the morning simply attributing it to “outside factors” without further elaboration and with little or no blame on yourself.
And it is certainly not the place whereby you are allowed to take the easy way out by using God’s name in vain. When Malaysians aboard ask where are their ballot papers, we are not expecting “Insya Allah ada tempoh masa lagi" (by God’s will there is still time), but rather, we expect a proper explanation and steps taken to counter the issue.
Our battle for reformation must not just rest or be biased towards Pakatan Harapan forming the government but rather we as patriotic Malaysians need to ensure that those who did not do their job well must be held accountable regardless of their background and the EC shall not be excluded.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.