KUCHING, Jan 5: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urges the Election Commission (EC) to expedite the reform process for postal voting.
Dr Yii believed the election reform process is important in view of the upcoming Sarawak state election which is due latest by August 2021.
“Absentee or postal voting would make it easier for voters residing in other states to vote instead of them having to return home and causing a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“Such reforms are important not just for the pandemic but also to encourage more voter participation especially elections held in Sabah and Sarawak.
“This will require the EC gazette out-of-region voters as advance voters eligible for postal voting under Regulation 3(1)(e) of the Elections (Advance Voting) Regulations 2012 to implement such a process.
“I strongly believe that in view of the (Covid-19) pandemic, it is the EC’s duty to make it as convenient and safe as possible for voters to cast their votes.
“The EC must be ready and should set a process to be implemented in time for the Sarawak state elections,” he said in a statement.
Dr Yii added the EC should also look into certain adjustments and procedural reforms for a nationwide election especially in implementing the necessary safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) including absentee voting or extending postal voting to those working or studying outside their states.
Citing statistics from election watchdog group Bersih Sarawak, he said approximately 20 per cent of eligible Sabahan and Sarawakian voters are living and working in Peninsular Malaysia and a certain number of people from Peninsular Malaysia are working in Sabah and Sarawak.
Hence, Dr Yii urgee EC to fast-track the reform process for postal voting. — DayakDaily