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Overseas voting: EC takes law into its own hands

Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY 'The EC cannot impose the 'five-year return' condition as this is not a requirement under the constitution.'

M'sians overseas can vote by post, says EC

your say Tan Teng Wah: Under the constitution, every citizen is entitled to vote. The Election Commission (EC) is obviously attempting to take the law into its own hands by taking away that inalienable right and the intention put forward by the EC is most laughable.

The EC should be least concerned about overseas voters' knowledge of our political situation as we are already in the cyber-age.

What matters most is the right to vote in a fair and clean manner and not casting a right or wrong vote. This is simply a freedom of choice.

Blind Freddo: A Malaysian is a Malaysian is a Malaysian... and it doesn't matter how often he or she returns to or leaves Malaysia, he or she is still a Malaysian and has the right to vote as a Malaysian.

So what's this stupid, non-policeable condition that EC has set? It's all about their overwhelming need to control... that's what it is.

Anonymous 2146: As head of the EC, the fact that you haven't you made the requisite enquiries before making this statement goes to show that this is a politically-motivated statement.

As for the visit once in every five years, I would be interested to know your thought process/justification for choosing five years.

Tholu: Are you, EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, a man from the Stone Age? The globe has shrunk with the ubiquitous existence and prevalence of the Internet. We follow the developments in other parts of the world as they happen in real time.

The Malaysian diaspora likewise are able to keep tab of everything happening in this country. They constantly read online news portals. They follow domestic bloggers' comments. I dare say that they are even better informed than us residing here on our soil.

The populace here in our country may not be fed with balanced news of the ruling and the opposition parties and their policies and activities. Why?

The whole world knows that our mainstream print and electronic media are sinfully biased towards the ruling government. So your condition that they must return once in five years does not hold water.

Perhaps you want them to return to view TV3 and read Utusan Malaysia .

Trying To Be Smart: Do bear in mind that the right of the citizen to vote is spelled out in the federal constitution.

In English jurisprudence which we had adopted, the constitution is considered a "primary rule" and the election laws are "secondary rules", whose purpose is purely to facilitate the enforcement of the constitution.

It follows that as no rule has been made in the election laws as to how such a voting process is to be conducted, it would be perfectly legitimate for the EC to set its own rule and procedure ad hoc for these category of overseas voters to vote without having to wait for an amendment to be made to the laws.

All that the EC needs to do is to adopt with such modification as required, the voting rules and procedure already being used with respect to government employees and students residing overseas.

The EC cannot impose the 'five-year return' condition as this is not a requirement under the federal constitution.

SMC77: Don't be fooled by the EC. There are a lot of conditions set. For example, such request is subject to approval by the Parliament. So, the EC can make empty promises and then someone in BN will shoot the proposal down.

Hero325: Everyone is acting like the EC chairperson. The comments posted in Malaysiakini show a lot ignorance over voting process.

Most people just participate as voters all this while, they do not know the actual process involved in the voting exercise.

If you ask the critics here to organise a vote for say 1,000 people, all sorts of chaos will happen right before your eyes. But they are trying to teach the EC how to conduct voting for more than 10 million people.

Trang: Hero325, you are talking as if you're the EC chairman yourself.

Rushmore: I do not know how many people are aware of this - there is a ruling in place in which Malaysians overseas have to go back to Malaysia to renew their passports if they have not been back five years prior to the expiration of their passport.

Only if you had been back within those five years that the embassy/consulate will renew your passport, either by mail or in person. Did this ruling pass through legislation or just a directive from some authority?

If this ruling did not go through legislation, why would the EC proposal be any different? If Malaysians overseas had been abiding by this ruling all along, the proposal by EC has already been met. I hope interested parties should look further into this.

AnakBangsaMalaysia: While overseas voting is very important to restore the rights of overseas Malaysians, the first and foremost demand of Bersih is to clean up the electoral process.

Without a clean and transparent electoral process, overseas votes will be an obvious channel for electoral fraud - as has been the case for decades with the existing postal voters.

Thus, we cannot accept overseas voting without first having genuine electoral reform and a complete purge of the EC.

Which proper democracy in the world has an election commission whose top leaders are card-carrying members of the ruling regime?

Anonymous #11771578: How can the EC give us the assurance that my overseas vote will safely go to my hometown as I voted for?

I would rather come home to vote if the process of the overseas votes is not transparent.

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