EC should have done more to help voters abroad, says Bersih

06 May 2018 / 18:09 H.

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 has lambasted the Election Commission (EC) over problems faced by voters abroad in receiving and returning their ballot papers.
It said EC's statement that ballot papers would reach voters by May 9 and should be returned in time was irresponsible.
Bersih executive director Yap Swee Seng said the electoral watchdog had received hundreds of complaints from voters abroad saying they had not received their ballot papers. Some said through the tracking system they had discovered that they would receive their ballot papers a day before or even after polling date on May 9, he added.
"We don't have exact numbers but we have received hundreds of complaints of voters abroad who still have not received their ballot papers. Some said when they called the EC to check, they were asked to check with courier companies," Yap said today.
The EC did not provide tracking numbers for the voters who had to call courier companies and check the delivery status against their names, he said.
"EC cannot blame Pos Malaysia for this. They set only 11 days for the ballot papers to be sent out and to be received in time.
"When some checked with the tracking system, it showed they would receive their ballot papers either one day before or even some after the nomination day."
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah had assured that the ballot papers would reach voters and return to their returning officers before 5 pm on May 9.
He said EC was aware that some postal voters feared that their ballot papers would not arrive in time for vote counting, but assured the public not to worry.
EC said there are about 12,000 overseas voters and 299,000 postal voters.
Bersih 2.0 has also called for all voters to turn up to vote in yellow as a sign of protest and solidarity against electoral fraud and manipulation after deeming that the Election Commission (EC) had failed to uphold the integrity of elections.
After listing out 10 "crimes" that the EC was condemned for, Bersih called Malaysians to turn up to vote wearing yellow.
"The EC has failed us and has not upheld the integrity of our elections. Although GE14 will not be clean, free or fair, we believe that you will play an important role in the upcoming election. The electoral fraud and manipulation can only be overcome if all Malaysians turn up to vote," acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari said in the press conference held this morning at Bersih's headquarters.
Bersih called for all Malaysians to wear yellow, tie a yellow ribbon, and even post a photo in yellow over social media profiles before the polling day, on May 7 and 8.

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