Only 20,000 Malaysians abroad registered as voters, says EC

(The Malaysian Times) – The Election Commission (EC) said that only 20,000 Malaysians abroad have registered as voters for the 13th General Election and not half a million as claimed by certain parties.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar categorically denied the claim that more than 500,000 Malaysians overseas did not have the opportunity to register.

He said the claim was baseless as the registration turn out at Malaysian representative offices worldwide did not match the alleged figure.

“Although we hear people say more than half a million Malaysians abroad are queuing to vote but the numbers who actually registered were much lower,” he said on a ‘Hello Malaysia’ programme titled “EC: The 13th General Election Challenge” on Bernama TV here Monday night.

Wan Ahmad said Wisma Putra records showed the overall number who registered at embassies abroad at about 20,000.

He said the situation clearly proved that ‘those’ who were claimed to have registered were not interested in voting and can be described as an ‘assumption’ by certain interested parties.

He also stressed that those who left the country for job opportunities were actually normal voters compared to diplomats and government officials who were duty bound and full-time students abroad.

As Parliament had decided to allow them voting rights, he said the EC had discussed the matter with Wisma Putra and the Immigration Department to ensure only those who had returned home at least once in five years be eligible to vote.

Wan Ahmad said upon registration, they must request for postal voting in order to vote in the general election.