Ahead of deadline, Malaysians worldwide unite to ensure ballots get home

Annion Ann who resides in Hong Kong will be delivering postal votes to Johor and Kuala Lumpur. — Picture from Annion Ann’s Facebook.
Annion Ann who resides in Hong Kong will be delivering postal votes to Johor and Kuala Lumpur. — Picture from Annion Ann’s Facebook.

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PETALING JAYA, May 8 — Over the past few days, Malaysians overseas were panic-stricken that their postal ballots may not reach the country by 5pm tomorrow, in time for counting.

Fearing their votes will not count, fellow countrymen have been assisting one another to bring back postal votes from various parts of the world to ensure they reach their respective constituencies.

Engineer Balamugilan Balakrishnan, 40, who resides in Dusseldorf, Germany has been one of the Malaysians offering to collect postal votes.

He has collected a few postal votes from Dusseldorf and will send them to their respective constituencies either via a runner or personally before the 5pm deadline tomorrow.

“As Malaysians, we must exercise our right to vote. We need a change and I’m doing my part as a citizen. 

“If I can help others, I will. It’s my duty as a Malaysian to help others in my country,” he said.

Over in Hong Kong, Annion Ann is doing her part to bring back postal votes to constituencies in Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

“Bringing back a few ballots that I collected last night and early this morning,” she posted in a private Facebook group.

YJ King from Hong Kong only received his ballot parcel at 5pm today, but that has not stopped him from helping other Malaysians.

He is boarding a plane, which departs Hong Kong International Airport at 8.45pm (local time) tonight, and is asking Malaysians living there to meet him at the airport to hand over their postal votes.

Jonathan Chin, who is on a return flight from Frankfurt, is offering to collect ballot sheets from Malaysians at the Dubai International Airport tonight.

This group of Malaysians travelling home to vote from various parts of the world are hoping to make postal votes count in GE14. 

Some are personally delivering the ballot papers while others are meeting “runners” who could drive these votes to their respective centres.

A spreadsheet hosted online with contact numbers and locations of Malaysians worldwide helping one another has also been circulating on Facebook.

Malaysians who feel that they could still make it in time can contact either the numbers or links listed for further reference.

As of today, a number of Malaysians worldwide have yet to receive their ballot papers.

About 30 unhappy voters in the United Kingdom staged a protest against the Election Commission (EC) at noon yesterday in front of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board office near Trafalgar Square in London.

The 2013 election saw a similar issue as the EC identified that there was late pick-up and delivery of envelopes containing postal votes for overseas voters by Pos Malaysia Berhad.

The reason given was because the company did not operate on weekends and that some postal voters were unable to vote as they were at work when the priority envelopes — which must be personally received by them — were delivered to their homes.

Unhappy voters in the UK staged a protest against the EC in London yesterday. — Picture courtesy of Melissa Sasidaran
Unhappy voters in the UK staged a protest against the EC in London yesterday. — Picture courtesy of Melissa Sasidaran

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