Overseas Malaysians rush to send ballots home, call for postal voting overhaul

However, there are solutions to improve the system, Mr Tharma said, adding that Undi18 has been advocating for advance voting in countries with a significant population of Malaysians, such as Singapore.  

Mr Tharma suggested using diplomatic sites such as Malaysian embassies or high commissions to facilitate advance or postal voting.  

“We can use (those sites) to collect votes to coordinate a postal voting, or have an advanced voting process, so that when the votes are done overseas, they can then be sent back in a more efficient, effective manner,” he said.  

Another solution could be to wait before announcing results in contests that are too close to call, and count every vote from postal ballots, no matter how long they take to arrive, he said.  

“In a democracy, every vote counts and governments must work based on that principle that you have to make voting more accessible, to make democracy more understandable, in order to engage more voters in the process,” Mr Tharma said.  


Close to two million Malaysians are currently residing overseas, according to a report by Kuala Lumpur-based independent think tank EMIR Research.  

Many of them are unable to travel back home to vote due to time, budget, or other constraints.

These postal voters are a major focal point for Undi18, Mr Tharma said, as the Malaysian diaspora is a significant demographic, with many students abroad being first time voters.  

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