KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Johor DAP deputy chief Teo Nie Ching has called for the Election Commision (EC) to set up a polling station in Singapore, in order to ensure the thousands of Johorean diaspora in the island nation get to vote in the upcoming Johor state elections.

In a statement today, the Kulai MP urged that the overseas polling station be positioned at the Malaysia High Commission in Singapore.

“There are about 400,000 Malaysians who are working in Singapore, of which many of them are Johoreans. This is a significant number of voters that would affect the outcome of the state elections.

“In order to participate in the election, hundreds of thousands of Johor voters have to register and cast postal votes.

“I hope that the Election Commission will not make life difficult for Johor voters. It must show strong commitment to allow more qualified Johor voters to vote,” she said.

Teo said this is in light of the limited number of people allowed to use the vaccinated-travel-lane (VTL), which lets Malaysians living in Singapore return home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

When it started on November 29, 2021, the VTL allowed for 1,500 passengers by land travel per day, and an unspecified amount by flights. However, this quota has since been cut by 50 per cent due to concerns surrounding the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

To note, Malaysia has a history with postal votes arriving too late to count, as was seen in the 14th General Election in 2018. Reports also allege the same happened during state elections in Melaka and Sarawak last year.

Previously, for the Sarawak polls in December 2021, the government had declined to implement reforms to postal voting systems or implement “e-voting” due to reasons such as a lack of time to do so, as well as logistical difficulties.