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Monday, July 23, 2007

Something to get mad about...

Malaysian Embassy, Washington, USA

UPDATE: I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM THE PENGARAH PILIHAN RAYA NEGERI SELANGOR TODAY. I WAS EXCITED. BUT ALL IT WAS WAS THE COPY OF A FORWARDED EMAIL. THE PENGARAH jailani@spr.gov.my HAD FORWARDED MY EMAIL TO daftar@spr.gov.my . JUST LIKE THAT. THERE WAS NO GREETING, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, NO EXPLANATION.

It was pointed out to me that some Malaysians abroad have been told that they weren't eligible to vote!!! The person who made this discovery is a Malaysian living and working in the U.S.A. She wanted to vote. She checked with the Malaysian consulate on the procedure and was told that only Malaysian students and civil servants abroad may vote. What???!!! Nobody else??? What about the professionals and their spouses? What about the flers who've been sent there by their companies for training etc.? I went to the FAQ section of the Election Commission's website and found this...

Who are eligible to register as voters?
Malaysian citizens aged 21 years and above and who reside in any constituency in Malaysia.

I tried to look for clarification on the site but I couldn't find any except a section about members of the Armed Forces and their spouses who have the privilege of voting by post.


If this is true then it must be corrected. If some clown in the Malaysian consulate in Washington screwed up then he must be FIRED! Expect it. Demand it!

NIAMAH!!!

p/s I have just sent an email to the Pengarah Pilihan Raya Negeri of Selangor asking him to clarify. Expect a reply but please don't hold your breath ok?

29 comments:

Cuddly Family said...

yeah man, when I first heard that thru jenn's comments, I was like WHAT?!?!! That just NOT good.

heard students can vote and govt servants but the rest all, sorrylah..

its ridiculous.. I wonder why they dont want overseas malaysians to vote hor... i see today is DPM's bday..

Ray said...

Dear Patrick

I am one of ur silient fan currently in the US! :) Love ur blog man!

Yeah...a lot of us were asking the same question! I also contacted the Consulate General of Msia in NYC and EC! The answer to professionals working in overseas is NO!


http://www.mybuddies.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5406

Pls..keep the ur posts coming..if u can!!! LOL

Thanks for voicing out!

Chee Yong said...

Its sad isnt it. Those that lives far away r not eligible to vote. As for me, since I'm in Spore, I'll come back to vote. And its definately not for the dacing symbol. Spending the ticket coming home and sacrificing 2 days annual leave is worth it if those suckers holds in on weekdays.

vasu said...

I am in the UK with my spouse, working. Does that mean that I will not get to vote also? How is it such a BASIC right in a democracy can be so blatantly robbed in braod daylight?

Is it because they KNOW that expats tend to read Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, and the rest of the blogs? That we are more exposed to how real democracies work, and thus rightly worried when we go to the voting booth? Heck, I am tempted to even claim that most probably the overseas votes will be doctored anyway!

It shows by allowing the armed forces and students to vote, rather than expats, it means they know how well brain washed or intimidated these groups are.

The next EC move...only allow BN supporters to vote!

grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Anonymous said...

"It takes strength to tolerate this kind of nonsense but
it takes courage to fight this nonsense" a statement borrow from Jack Welch.

Serenity said...

i look forward to reading the Pengarah's reply if he ever gets to it! shud be interesting to see what excuse(s) they come up with. fyi, the Malaysian Consulate in NY is no better with their "lethargic" counter staff. the Consulate is so poor that I was asked to provide my own self-stamped envelope in order for them to return my documents. no petty cash either!

aawilliam said...

Do something!!!Taruk them gau gau!!

Ray said...

Vasu, to them, they did not rob our rights to vote, but they just didn't make it easy for us to register or to vote! We can still fly back to vote IF we want to! :P (i know lah..I am upset as well!)

serenity, not that I am a big fan on how the Consulate General Office conduct its business in helping Msians in the US, but I think their hands are tight too! It seems like they never get adequate funding from HQ to provide better service to Msians in the US. I'd conducted seminar for the Consulate General, that's why I know!

http://www.mybuddies.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4967&PN=1&TPN=1

I mean the CG has so much desire to help but he has so little resources!

A good website with latest news, info, and forms was suggested to the CG many time, but the HQ wants everything done and controlled by the HQ, so the CG can't do anything!

So I think it goes back to how important are we to the govt back home! I dunno...

Anonymous said...

It has always been like this, overseas stayers (besides those exempted) CANNOT vote. Dunno why this policy but nobody can provide answers.

Many years ago even students cannot vote but now they allow.

We see citizens of foreign countries voting at their embassies and missions when their country hold elections. But in Bolehland, its tak boleh.

Talking about how Malaysian missions are managed overseas, I have had many bad experiences.

Most of the staff there are on permanent holidays, enjoying life and their benefits and really you are a chore and bother for them.

Productivity, concern and willingness to help are just dreams. No one cares, information out of date or unavailable. Our missions are a joke.

AA said...

2004 my malaysian friend in Egyp went to Malaysian embassy to enquire how to cast a vote.

The reply came: Ala.. tak payah la vote.....

My friend was angry not because she cant vote but the 'malas' way the staff answered her!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, but if you think about it, this makes perfect sense.

They can very implicitly force the overseas-posted civil servants to vote for the "correct" party.

And the students they are concerned about are the ones on govt scholarship and registered with the MSD or their other equivalents. Also another subset of people with the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads which may drop if they vote the "incorrect" party.

NIAMAH! (sorry dude)

crazyant said...

In my opinion, i think the bloody @$$es knows that those living overseas are most likely gonna vote for the opposition, otherwise they wouldn't be living there right? So, they take away their rights to vote. It's quite an easy explanation. My friend in France has checked with the embassy there. True enough, it's not allowed. Doesn't take a genius to know that SPR is biased does it?

Jun said...

well uncle pat, waiting for ur follow-up then ;) good luck...

Anonymous said...

I'm staying in France since married with a French. I've been told that I can't vote from France and my kid can't be a Malaysian( because i'm a woman) only a male Msian's kid can get Msian nationality. How sexist!!

patrickteoh said...

Yes, it is very sexist. That's what we inherited and that's what we didn't bother to ask for change and that's what we have to live with.

Jun, as I expected there is only a loud silence from the 'authorities'.

No crazyant, a Malaysian anywhere in the world still holds a right to vote. The rules just require that they come back to Malaysia to cast their vote.

Is anonymous suggesting that they will actually open the votes to see who you vote for and then penalise you if you vote the 'wrong' party? Oh dear!

aa, your friend should really demand action against the pegawai who said that. But then he/she will merely say that he/she was misquoted, right? But still should have lodged a report.

Unlike anonymous I have never dealt with a Malaysian department abroad so I don't know the condition of service. But if the tourism offices I have visited in London, Los Angeles and San Francisco are anything to go by anonymous's description is more or less spot on. Then there is the other side of the story as told by Ray. Thanks.

Serenity, I did say not to hold your breath, right. On another Tokkok, it's been almost 3 weeks since I made my police report against a neighbour who threatened me and my small children with physical harm in front of our own home. Nothing has been done. I am going to call the Inspector-General and see if I can get some explanation. I guess the police also subscribe to the 'how many people died' rule. Nobody died ah? Then never mind la. Next.

You can vote, Vasu. It will just cost you a bit more la. Air Asia plans to fly to Manchester in 2008 so if you're lucky they might hold off the general elections until then.

Good for you Chee Yong. We need more Malaysians like you.

Did anybody make a wish that he choke on his cake? Come on, be honest now:-)

TP said...

Hi Patrick,

I checked with the Malaysian consulate in Perth. Vote from Aus? "Tak boleh. You must go back to your constituency in Malaysia." I already declared to the authorities i.e. Lembaga Hasil that I have taken up a work contract in Australia. But I didn't realise that move would forfeit my right to vote. Only in Malaysia!

patrickteoh said...

tp, as they will say your right to vote remains intact. You just have to go home to your constituency to exercise that right. Strange isn't it when even a country like the Philipines has the infrastructure to allow its citizens to cast their votes wherever they may be.

vasu said...

Dear anonymous,

Your child can be a Malaysian citizen, provided you go back to Msia for his/her birth in your 8th or 9th month! Then you have to line up with your baby waiting for birth certificate and warganegara status within a few days of birth. I have heard such horror stories in one of the expat blogs. Oh, btw, the child has to be born WITHIN wedlock, so if a woman is not married, she cannot ever hope to get citizenship for her baby if born overseas.

And, your husband will probably never obtain Msian citizenship...ever. This is a bloody discriminative policy against women...and they say we are a modern country...yeah rrrrite!

If I were you, I will say screw you to Msia, and take up French citizenship. Then your baby can travel almost anywhere in the world with no restrictions...if you come back, he/she can obtain a PR in malaysia truly asia.

cheers.

Anonymous said...

alright! Now I can't vote from abroad whereas my grandma who died 25years ago still receives notice to vote last election!!!Real phantom voter(In fact we have contacted SPR to remove her name from voter list twice). Will see if my grandma can vote for "???" next time!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but i don't understand your update. What's the content of the email from the pengarah pilihan raya negeri selangor? Is it your email forwarded back to you?

patrickteoh said...

Sorry I didn't make myself clear in the update. What the pengarah did was just click on the forward button on my email to him and forwarded the email to daftar@spr.gov.my There was no attached comment to the receipient or any acknowledgement to me.

ront said...

Hey Patrick,

Here's the reply from the Malaysian Embassy in Finland with regards to eligibility to vote. Credit goes to KJ Lim of http://4896kj.com/4896/

Tuan/Puan,

Merujuk kepada emel tuan/puan berhubung perkara diatas, dimaklumkan
bahawa berdasarkan kepada Peraturan-peraturan Piliihanraya (Pengundian
Pos)1959 yang berkuatkuasa, hanya mereka yang dikategorikan di (a) atau

(b)dibawah sahaja yang layak mengundi secara pos diluar negara iaitu :

a) *Pengundi Tak Hadir*

i. Anggota tentera;
ii. Isteri/Suami anggota tentera;
iii. Pegawai Kerajaan bertugas di luar sempadan Semenanjung
Malaysia, Sabah atau Sarawak;
iv. Isteri/Suami Pegawai Kerajaan bertugas di luar sempadan
Semenanjung Malaysia, Sabah atau Sarawak;
v. Pelajar yang menuntut di luar sempadan Semenanjung Malaysia,
Sabah atau Sarawak;
vi. Isteri/Suami pelajar yang menuntut di luar sempadan Semenanjung

Malaysia, Sabah atau Sarawak;

(b) *Pemilih Biasa yang diberi undi pos*

i. Pegawai-pegawai Pilihan Raya;
ii. Anggota Polis Biasa;
iii. Pegawai Perkhidmatan Awam yang bertugas di luar Malaysia pada
hari mengundi;
iv. Anggota-anggota Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya;
v.Golongan-golongan yang diwartakan oleh SPR sebagai layak untuk
mengundi secara pos.

2. Sehubungan itu, mana-mana pemilih yang tidak termasuk dibawah
kategori (a) atau (b)adalah tidak layak mengundi secara pos.

Sekian terima kasih.

Saya yang menjalankan tugas,

Zakaria Mat Zain
Setiausaha Ketiga
b.p. TYT Duta Besar

ront said...

i wonder how do they determine who is eligible under this category

v.Golongan-golongan yang diwartakan oleh SPR sebagai layak untuk
mengundi secara pos.

As a comparison.....Finland's presidential election......of course you can cast your vote wherever you are at the nearest diplomatic mission office....also, if you're traveling during the election day...you can even cast your vote first. which will be kept and counted after everyone else has voted on the designated day.

GobloKing said...

A friend in Rome (Msian Chinese) took the trouble to go to the Msian embassy to ask for procedures on how she can vote

SHE was told "aiyoh...why you bother to vote?Only you want to vote lah...& so much work for us lah...can or not you don't vote?"

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO SUCH REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR BELOVED COUNTRY ??

Helloooo???
YOU are paid by ME!
You are supposed to take MY vote!

Answer: You can vote if you like but I don't send your vote in also can!!
How's that for GUTS!

fiona said...

Hello Patrick,

I'm a regular reader, Malaysian, studying and residing overseas. This is my first time commenting.

Have been following this post and the comments thread with interest. Seeing as I am a student and a registered voter, I am eligible for undi pos. So I contacted the Konsul-Jeneral to inquire about voting procedures, only to receive this prompt but curt reply:

"Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa setakat ini hanya rakyat Malaysia yang berada di dalam negeri yang digalakkan untuk mengundi di dalam pilihanraya."

Shocked, I wrote back but am still awaiting a response.

Any Malaysian overseas students out there facing similar reticence with their local embassies???

monsterball said...

Fat chance you get a sincere reply. if they are wrong...they will say it is rumours and not true.
They are never never wrong. That sickenig mentalities have always been the pain in the arse for majority Malaysian citizens.

Mindey Bhar said...

I am a Malaysian citizen residing in Australia and yes, you can only vote if you're a student or a civil servant in a foreign country. Enclosed is an email response I received from info@spr.gov.my in broken English.

Dear Madam,

Thank you for the enquiry.
For your information, under the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulation, 2002 only 4 category of Malaysian Citizens who are overseas qualified to register as postal voters:

1. in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law, who is on duty outside the
boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak;

2. the spouse of a person in the public service of the Government of Malaysia or of any State or in the service of any local authority or statutory authority exercising powers vested in it by Federal or State law
who is living with her or his husband or wife outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak at the date of application for registration as a Parliamentary or State elector,

3. engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any
higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak; or

4. the spouse of a person engaged in full-time studies at any university, training college or any higher educational institution outside the boundaries of Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah or Sarawak who is living with
her or his husband or wife at the date of application for registration as a Parliamentary or State elector.

If you falls under any of this categories you may apply through the Malaysia embassy located nearby. Upon completion of the form (Borang A), you can submit it back to the embassy or can mail it to EC HQ in Putrajaya.

Thank you.

WELL DONE MALAYSIA!

Anonymous said...

I am a malaysian citizen married to a non-citizen. I delivered my daughter in Australia and was told that my daughter was not eligible for malaysian citizenship bec I am married to a non-citizen.
What kind of absolute unfairness is that? Its so unfair and there is no place or person I can voice my concerns to about this matter within an immigration setting!

Hee said...

Folks, it's not just that. A lot of you miss someting very important.

A lot of East Malaysians (and those whose hometowns are hard to reach) totally miss out the election. Think about the number of Sarawakian in KL. How many will be able to buy a plane ticket to go home and vote? There probably run to thousands alone for my hometown.

There is no way we can vote except flying home or we change our electoral area. I was made aware of this during the last election. That's the main reason why opposition is so weak in rural area or in East Malaysia, especially Sarawak. We are simply not there to vote!

One question to all of you folks, is there a way to do post election checking to see if I actually voted (not some phantom voter voting on my behalf?)

Nuffnang