Published: Sunday January 27, 2013 MYT 3:14:00 PM
Updated: Sunday January 27, 2013 MYT 6:58:38 PM
EC: 30-day stay condition for outstation voters fair
KUALA LUMPUR: The condition that outstation voters must have returned to Malaysia in the last five years and stayed no fewer than 30 days in the country is reasonable, said EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
He said the condition was simple and appropriate, and had also been adopted by other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada, while Singapore set it at three months.
"Thirty days in a period of five years, not 30 days consecutively. Voting is not just a right but a responsibility to the country. The EC also looks at it as showing love for country and still having a link with the homeland," he said after being interviewed on RTM's "Selamat Pagi Malaysia" talkshow at Wisma TV, Angkasapuri here on Sunday.
Wan Ahmad said the condition was proposed to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reforms who approved it.
He said the decision to set the condition of five years and 30 days was made by the EC, as provided for under the Election Laws and Regulations.
"As a constitutional organisation, the EC has the authority to set certain conditions and procedures," he said, dismissing claims by certain quarters that the condition was not discussed at the committee stage at Parliament.
Wan Ahmad said since Jan 21, the EC had received 500 applications from Malaysians living abroad to become postal voters in the 13th general election.
He expected the applications to increase with the simplified process of sending back the form to the EC via email.
"The opportunity for Malaysians to be outstation voters is a political transformation and a paradign shift in the democratic process," he said. - Bernama
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