As many countries across the world go in an election mode, the overseas diaspora communities abroad are able to exercise their right to elect government via postal voting.
The Malaysian diaspora community will be voting on April 28, 2013 in the Malaysian embassy in London.
“God willing, I’ll be going this weekend down to London to vote. It is very important for us to participate in general elections,” said Auliana Zainul Ariff, a Malaysian student in Cardiff.
Yao Chang Choo is a member of the Malaysian society in Cardiff and he says that preparation for the election started almost a year ago. “As soon as the details related to voting were announced last year, on Facebook pages we started promotion with regards to registering to vote as overseas voters. Unfortunately, the promotion might not have been as big as we should have done it.”
“We have booked a 51-seater bus. To encourage more people to join in the experience, we have opened the bus booking to non-voters as well. The current cost is £10 per person, with light refreshment provided. The price may be reduced if more people join in. Currently, there are 31 people who have booked to join in the trip,” he said.
After the announcement regarding the general election was made, information regarding the voting dates was continually updated on all the Malaysian societies Facebook pages.
The Malaysian societies in Cardiff consist of Malaysian Students’ Society of Cardiff (MSSCF), Malaysian Community of Cardiff (MCC), Kelab Melayu Wales (KMW), the UKEC Wales Regional Chairman committee and Cardiff Nusantara Network (CNN).
While the Malaysian society has geared up for the upcoming elections, the Pakistani society is still fighting a battle to get the right to vote as an overseas citizen of Pakistan. The country will start their election on 11th May, 2013.
Faizan Qureshi, a Pakistani student in Cardiff told The Archer “As an overseas citizen, we should have the right to vote. Pakistan, especially now, needs our support and this election is very important. If the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) grants us the permission to vote, I will travel to the Pakistan embassy no matter what. It is very important.”
The ECP has raised concerns about the postal voting and has passed a no confidence motion with regard to the use of non-certified computers in the Pakistan embassy. Currently, a case is pending in the Supreme Court and the final decision will be taken by the court next week.