Postal voting motion dismissed

Wong tabling a motion calling for the implementation of postal voting or setting up polling stations at other states so as to allow Sarawakians living outside Sarawak to vote

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 10: The motion by Pelawan assemblyman David Wong calling for the implementation of postal voting or setting up polling stations at other states to allow Sarawakian electorate living outside Sarawak to cast votes was dismissed as an amendment to the definition of “Advanced Voter” under the Election Regulations is required.

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar emphasised that unless and until this pertinent regulation is amended in Parliament, the motion cannot proceed in this August House.

The current Regulation 27A of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, he said, stated that only persons who are required to vote as Advance Voter can vote outside Sarawak.

Those who fall under the category of advance voter in the Regulations include a person who has registered as a parliamentary or state elector, member of any police force in Malaysia other than a member of the Police Volunteer Reserve Force, or the spouse of a serving member of the General Operation Force.

“…shall vote as an advance voter at an election in accordance with the procedure of voting as provided in these Regulations.

“Advance voter is defined under Regulation 2 of the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 as ‘any person who is required to vote in advance under regulation 27A.

“This motion requires an amendment to the Regulation 27A of the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981,” he informed the august House today.

While under Part II – Postal Voters, Elections (Postal Voting) Regulations 2003, he said persons entitled to vote as postal voters are stated in Regulation 3.

“Under interpretation, postal ballot paper means a ballot paper issued to a postal voter, and postal voter means any person entitled to vote under Regulation 3,” he added.

Asfia pointed out that the subject matter in the motion transgressed Standing Order 23(6) and 9th Schedule of the Federal List I – 6(a) of the Federal Constitution where election is within the purview of the Federal Authority.

“Standing Order 23(6) states, ‘No motion relating to a matter contained in the Federal Legislative List shall be in order’. This motion is therefore dismissed,” he said.

Wong had tabled a motion calling the state government of Sarawak to demand the Malaysia Election Commission to allow Sarawakians living outside Sarawak to vote, either setting up polling stations in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Sabah for them to vote or allow them to vote through postal ballots. — DayakDaily