GE15: EC shall consider early, postal votes for students - Bung Mokhtar
KOTA KINABALU - The Election Commission (EC) is asked to consider the eligibility of early voters or postal votes for students who are attending universities to give them the opportunity to choose in the 15th General Election (GE15).
Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said as what was approved by the Parliament that voters aged 18 were now allowed to vote through the automatic registration effective Dec 15, last year so their rights as youth voters and registered voters could not be set aside.
"We are well informed that university students who are among the newly registered voters have just registered for the new semester.
"This group needs to be given the leniency to vote early or postal votes so that their rights are not neglected," he said after receiving the courtesy visit from the Sabah Football Association (Safa) Assistant Secretary-General Azman Mastar at his residence in Luyang, on Thursday.
The Umno Sabah Chief said university students surely experienced constraints to leave and vote because of how far they were from their registered voting place and the high costs to come back to their areas whether in West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak as well as other states.
He said the EC needed to think of a solution to categorise them as early voters and give them room to perform their responsibilities without affecting their studies.
The Kinabatangan Parliamentary seat incumbent said the implementation of the postal or early votes for students aged 18 or higher needed to take into account multiple aspects including the procedures seeing that the total number of institutes of higher learning (IPT) students in the country had reached over 500,000.
"This is the EC's responsibility to ensure youth voters are given room and comfort to fulfill their responsibilities as the ones determining the future of the country and encourage the high percentage of voters," he said.