Wednesday January 23, 2013
Definition of ‘nearby’ is needed
I REFER to the report, “Those living in nearby countries must return to vote” (The Star, Jan 22).
I applaud the efforts made by Election Commission (EC) in getting Malaysian overseas to vote.
However, the term “nearby” needs to be “fine tuned” as we need to know how one defines “nearby”?
Sabahans and Sarawakians working in Singapore are not “nearby”.
Those from Kuala Lumpur or Penang working in Brunei are not within the “nearby” definition, too.
We will understand if Johoreans are not entitled for postal votes if they work in Singapore. Similarly, for Kelantaneses and Kedahans who work in border towns.
But to insist fellow Malaysians to take expensive flights and annual leave to vote may not bear the desired results of getting overseas Malaysians to vote.
There are many Malaysians under this category.
If we insist on this, then it will defeat the purpose of getting overseas folks to vote.
If Malaysians working in Indonesia are entitled for postal votes, similar entitlement should be logically extended to Malaysians working in Singapore and Brunei whose voting stations are thousands of kilometres away, a further distance from those working in Indonesia.
Voting is a basic right of all Malaysians and the EC is obliged to work out a feasible solution in getting everyone to vote.
LOH KOK CHAI