‘My vote still matters’

Democracy in action: Early voting taking place for Indonesia’s general election at the polling centre at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama

JOHOR BARU: Being away from their homeland has not hindered Indonesians in Johor from exercising their right to vote in their country’s elections.

Erni Puspawati was among those who cast their votes at the Indonesian Consulate-General here.

The 41-year-old, who runs a restaurant in Muar with her Malaysian husband, said she left the house at 5am just so that she could vote.

“I have been living in Malaysia for 22 years and I am married to a local.

“My two children were also born and raised here. They have never been to Indonesia.

“However, despite being away for decades, I am still an Indonesian citizen... that is why I still make my way to cast my vote.

“I believe my vote still matters. Most of my family members are in Indonesia; I want them to get leaders who are people-centric and can bring the country forward,” she said when interviewed.

Erni, who is from Lombok, said she hopes to see the new government working towards reducing bureaucracy.

“I hope this can be worked on so that it will be easier for us to complete any official affairs.

“This is something important for Indonesians, regardless whether we are in or out of the country,” she added.

For housewife Faridah Hanim, this is the first time she has cast her ballot outside of Indonesia.

“I wanted to cast my vote in previous elections but did not know how to go about it.

“This time, I put in the extra effort to find out how.

“Although I am no longer living in Indonesia, my heart and soul still remain with my country.

“I hope the new leaders can give their best for the people and maintain peace for all,” said the 48-year-old, who has been living in Malaysia for over 20 years.

The Consul-General Office’s overseas election committee chief Ardiyanshah Syahrom said there are 119,491 registered Indonesian voters in Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Pahang.

Johor has the most Indonesian voters at 90,666.

“Apart from voting at the embassy and consulates, our officers went to areas with large populations of Indonesians to help them cast their votes.

“We also deployed drop boxes at companies that have a large number of Indonesian workers,” he said.

Indonesia is set to have its elections on Feb 14.

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Indonesian Polls , Erni Puspawat


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