By: Consul General
Dato’ Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin
Malaysians working and living abroad who have registered as voters in Malaysia shall cast their votes at the upcoming 13thGeneral Election. For the first time ever, this has been made possible through postal voting extended to all Malaysians living overseas. The regulation on postal voting was gazetted on 21 January 2013 and applications for postal voting has been immediately opened until midnight on the day Parliament is dissolved.
Previously, postal voting was only possible for members of the Armed Forces, civil servants, full time students and their respective spouses. Other Malaysians residing overseas however, had to return home to vote. The extension of postal voting to all Malaysians is a milestone in the electoral process.
Postal voting is open to Malaysian citizens residing abroad who are21 years of age and above, who have previously registered as voters in Malaysia, had been living in Malaysia or returned to the country for a total period of not less than 30 days within five years preceding the dissolution of Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies. This regulation on postal voting would require Malaysians to return to the country at least once every five years to be eligible as postal voters. Malaysians living in Southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Kalimantan however do not qualify under this provision. Malaysians living abroad would need to apply for postal voting using Form 1B of the Postal Ballot Paper Form (Overseas Postal Voters). This form can be downloaded and filled up by referring to guidelines available from the EC website. It is important to note that once a person has registered to vote by post, they cannot return to Malaysia to vote in person.