Indonesian officials still counting postal votes in Malaysia

Offcials counting the votes cast for the Indonesian election at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. -Bernama

Offcials counting the votes cast for the Indonesian election at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. -Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Indonesian officials here are still counting the ballots in Malaysia for the republic’s presidential election amid calls for a revoting of postal votes by their election watchdog.

The early voting was carried out in several states on Sunday, causing long queues at the embassy as well as its consulate offices in George Town, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

“We are still calculating the votes,” said an embassy official.

The early voting in Malaysia has been marred by criticisms that there was misconduct.

There was also the discovery of thousands of stray ballot papers in Kajang, Selangor, last Thursday.

The ballot papers were found in two locations in Kajang.

Two Indonesians have lodged police reports over the matter.

A video went viral, showing the ballot papers scattered about in a warehouse.

On Tuesday, Singapore’s The Straits Times reported that Indonesia’s independent Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) had ordered the General Elections Commission (KPU) to replace two election committee officials in Malaysia due to a conflict of inte­rest.

The Indonesian watchdog also said about 320,000 Indonesians who had cast their postal votes in Malaysia should vote again as investigation indicated vote-rigging.

Bawaslu commissioner Rahmat Bagja was quoted as saying that there were “legal ballot papers that were allegedly marked by non-legitimate voters as well as ballot papers that were not marked” found at two locations in Selangor.

The decision to redo the voting is based on the Bawaslu investigation, which involved interviewing 13 officials in Malaysia.

There is an estimated 1.1 million eligible Indonesian voters in Malaysia, the biggest group of overseas Indonesian voters.

Indonesian voters had the option of casting their ballots via mail or at polling stations set up in several states in Malaysia.

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