Group demands overseas voter registration


A campaign dubbed MyOverseas Vote has been launched calling on the Election Commission to register all overseas voters. 

In an article on Malaysiakini on 17 January 2011 titled “Absent voters to include overseas residents?”, Election Commission chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof stated that the commission would consider recognising the rights of Malaysians living overseas through “amendments to the absent voter category” if there are “5,000 appealing”.

Presently, there are more than 700,000 Malaysians who are estimated to be living and working outside Malaysia. This number has even been estimated to be as high as 1.5 million.

There are almost 11.4 million registered Malaysian voters as of September 2010 out of a potential electorate of 15 million. Under the Election (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002, only members of the Armed Forces, public servants, students and their spouses living overseas are eligible to register and vote as absent voters.

As such, many Malaysians overseas are deprived of their right to even register as voter, much less be able to vote.

The MyOverseas Vote (MOV) campaign was set up to challenge this discriminatory provision. Our legal advice is that the discriminatory provisions are an abuse of the Election Commission’s discretion under the law and a violation of the grant of equality under the Federal Constitution.