Group urges EC to allow ‘remote voting’ in Sabah poll to cut Covid-19 risks

The EC will meet tomorrow to set the dates for the Sabah state election. ― Bernama pic
The EC will meet tomorrow to set the dates for the Sabah state election. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — The Election Commission (EC) should introduce remote voting for the Sabah state election to both reduce risks of Covid-19 infections and enhance democracy, said the Malaysia First group.

It said this would acknowledge the democratic rights of around 200,000 Sabahans — approximately 18 per cent of voters in the state — living outside of Sabah.

“Remote voting facilities will also mean voters will not be financially burdened by the cost of travelling to distant polling centres from the Peninsula, Sarawak and Singapore,” said spokesman Mohamed Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail in a statement.

He added this voting method was a universally accepted practice adopted by many democratic countries.

“A proposal to set up polling centres in major cities in the Peninsula and Sarawak and the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore is worthy of serious consideration by the EC, and will help protect the democratic rights of Sabahans to choose their next government.

“We stand ready to hold a dialogue with, and encourage the EC to engage with other stakeholders on this very important issue to ensure the polls are safe and inclusive,” Tawfik said.

The EC will meet tomorrow to set the dates for the state election.

Sabah’s state legislature was dissolved on July 30, after an abortive takeover move by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman following which now-caretaker chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal obtained a signed letter of consent from Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin to do so.

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