PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission is urging overseas voters to cast their votes at their respective Malaysian missions the moment they receive their ballot papers to avoid any complications.
Its deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said while Malaysians had every right to mail the votes on their own “our advice is to vote at the mission itself”.
“The mission is secure, you have witnesses, and the voters themselves will put the ballots in the envelopes and into the ballot sack,” he said after inspecting preparations to send postal votes to overseas Malaysians at Wisma Putra here yesterday.
He said numerous security measures had been put in place to make sure the votes were not tampered with and will reach their destination in time for the polls.
Wan Ahmad gave an assurance that there was no way that anyone could tamper with the ballot papers throughout the entire process, as all 6,360 sets of ballot papers would be sealed in a diplomatic bag when delivered to the 103 missions handling postal votes worldwide and again when sent back to Malaysia.
“The EC guarantees that from the time we send the postal votes from the (postal vote) centre in Wisma Putra to the missions, to the time postal voters place their votes in the ballot sack, which will then go into the diplomatic bag and get back to this hall and sent to returning officers, the ballots are safe,” he said.
Wan Ahmad repeated that it is entirely up to overseas voters if they intend to personally mail their votes directly to the returning officer of their respective constituencies, but pointed out that they would then bear the full responsibility of making sure their ballots reach the returning officer before 5pm on polling day on May 5.
“The address of the returning officer will be clearly printed.
“If they mark their ballots at home, that is their problem but don't blame anyone else (if their votes do not reach the returning officer),” he said.
Postal votes will be available for collection at all 103 Malaysian missions that are handling postal votes for only one day on Apr 28 from 9am to 6pm local time, except for London and Melbourne where the deadline is extended to 8pm due to the high number of postal voters registered in both locations.
Wan Ahmad said notifications had already been put up on the EC's website and that of all 103 Malaysian missions.
For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site