Monday, January 2, 2012
'Absent voters' case: Decision on Friday
Unlike South Africans and Singaporeans working in the private sector outside their country of origin, Malaysians are not able to exercise their right to vote because they are not classified as absent voters.
Lawyer Edmund Bon (left), submitting this in the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, said Malaysia is among a few Commonwealth countries which does not allow citizens overseas to vote by becoming absent voters.
"Not classifying my clients as absent voters has violated their rights under Article 8 for equality and Article 119 for the right to vote under the federal constitution," he said.
He is representing six Malaysians are seeking the right to be registered as ‘absent voters’ in a landmark case.
They are Teo Hoon Seong, V Vinesh, Paramjeet Singh, Yolanda Sydney Augustin, Sim Tze Wei and Leong See See.
Senior Federal Counsel Amarjeet Singh submitted that the EC has a duty to conduct elections and impose regulations, also saying that the applicants do not qualify as absent voters.
This is because citizens who reside and work in the private sector abroad do not fall within the categories allowed by regulations of the Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002.
Absent voters are currently classified as civil servants or army personnel working overseas or full-time students studying abroad.
Justice Rohana Yusof is scheduled to deliver her decision on Friday.
Some 700,000 Malaysians residing and working overseas will be affected by the decision which could also have a huge bearing on the upcoming 13th general election.
[More to follow]