All must be given opportunity to vote, say parties


Table talk: Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (left) and Johor Umno secretary Datuk Samsolbari Jamali (right) at a meeting with the Johor Umno’s 26 division secretaries. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: Political parties want postal voters to be given every opportunity to cast their votes in the Johor election.

Johor Umno treasurer Datuk Md Jais Sarday said the Election Commission (EC) should come up with a proper mechanism to allow Johor voters in Singapore to cast their votes similar to the Melaka election.

“It will not be just a crowded election with so many parties contesting, but there will be a huge bloc of 750,000 new voters.

“We need to engage with them and not just rely on traditional methods to reach out.

“Each vote is important to decide who wins this election which will certainly have multi-cornered fights. We also have to find a way to get our supporters who are outstation to come back and vote,” he added.

He said it was important for Barisan Nasional to explain to voters the reason for calling this election, which was to seek a new mandate from them to have a strong and stable government in Johor.

Md Jais, who is also Kluang Umno division chief, said their focus now was to find ways to “win big”.

He revealed that there was a possibility the party could field candidates from NGOs or community leaders who are friendly to Barisan to occupy difficult seats.

In this state election, the number of voters will increase from 1.8 million to 2.5 million.

State opposition leader Aminolhuda Hassan also said the EC should find a way to get Malaysians in Singapore to vote via postal votes.

“The EC should try to simplify the process. We cannot deny those in Singapore their voting rights,” he said, adding that many voters were stuck in Singapore and could not come back due to border restrictions.

“The present vaccinated travel lane (VTL) quota between Malaysia and Singapore is not sufficient to allow for voters to come back to vote. We have to find a way to get people to vote in this state polls,” he said, adding that Pakatan Harapan was also willing to set up a hotline for voters to help them register was postal voters.

Aminolhuda, who is also state Parti Amanah Negara chief, said that besides postal votes, it would be good for the EC to allow polling to be done at the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore.

He added that the Opposition would work hard to connect with the 750,000 new voters in the state.

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