The Election Commission (EC) should not be surprised that only 6,298 overseas Malaysians have registered to be postal voters when it has deliberately acted to restrict the number of eligible postal voters.
It has done this by:
1) not announcing the arrangements for overseas postal voting until after the Q4 2012 voter registration had ended. This ensured that those who had not yet registered could not get onto the electoral roll until May-June 2013, after GE13, and could therefore not register as postal voters for this election.
2) preventing Malaysians in Singapore, Brunei, Kalimantan and southern Thailand from registering. This excluded over 400,000 Malaysians living in Singapore, or approximately 40% of overseas Malaysians.
3) requiring overseas Malaysians to have returned to Malaysia for 30 days over the preceding 5 years.
4) closing the overseas postal voter registration before the date of the general election has been announced. This means that overseas Malaysians cannot plan whether to return to Malaysia or to vote by post.
Up to today, Malaysians who registered as overseas postal voters in January have still not received any reply telling them whether their applications have been approved or not. This is causing great confusion and uncertainty among overseas Malaysians, who need to plan their return trips to Malaysia if their applications are rejected.
MyOverseasVote calls upon the EC immediately to ensure that overseas Malaysians who have submitted their applications are told whether their applications have been successful or not, instead of complaining that the numbers are small.