Monday, May 7

Why I'm Not Sending Back My Postal Vote


REGARDLESS OF TOMORROW'S ELECTION RESULTS, I AM SOOOOO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU, MALAYSIANS!!!
It's amazing how Malaysians rise up to the challenge. I managed to find a Malaysian to bring my ballot from JFK to KLIA. Another Malaysian to bring my ballot from KLIA to KCH. And, another to deliver my ballot from the airport to the RO. Amazing!
We've done all we can from abroad.

Now it's up to you, Malaysia! GO OUT & VOTE!!!

Malaysians all over Malaysia, we still need more volunteers to hand-deliver postal votes. Postal votes will continue to arrive from overseas until late May 9th. No matter where you are, we need you! Let's fight until the very end!

Volunteer here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GE14PostalVote
Tomorrow morning, go early & complete the voting process. Then, I urge you to volunteer to carry postal votes & deliver them to their respective ROs.

If your vote cannot make it back to Malaysia, MAKE SURE NO ONE VOTES FOR YOU by emailing your PACA here to make sure that your name is not on the regular voting list: https://invokemalaysia.org/pc/

For Malaysians living abroad, there might be a fellow Malaysian who can personally bring your envelopes back to Malaysia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2049351842053459/permalink/2052950415026935/
It's completely legal to have your votes delivered by hand: https://www.facebook.com/ongkianming/posts/1698073126914407
You will have to take some extra steps: https://www.facebook.com/BersihAustralia/photos/a.880742831995030.1073741826.307902042612448/1670725519663420/?type=3


Last Friday afternoon (1pm, May 4th), I received my postal vote. I quickly filled it up & rushed to the nearest USPS office before closing time. There was a long line at the post office but they were very helpful & patient with my 101 questions & my demands for my mail to arrive by May 9th (Malaysia time). I was dismayed to find that it would take up to 3 working days to get a letter to Kuala Lumpur without guarantees. Also, it would cost $95, the equivalent of an entire week's groceries for 2 people. If I was a constituent in KL/Selangor, my ballot will arrive in time for the May 9th, 5pm, deadline. However, my constituency is in Kuching, Sarawak. Courier services would take even longer & cost even more.

Off I went to the nearest private sector courier company, FedEx. It was even worse. They couldn't find the post code of the Kuching South City Hall in their system, so they wouldn't accept my mail. Also, they said that it would take 3 working days to get mail delivered to KL. Cities outside of the capital will take longer, without guarantees. Neither could I get guarantees from UPS, nor DHL.

At that point, I realized that those of us living outside of KL or Selangor will have an uphill battle to get our ballots back in time. On top of this post, I've shared two resources that might help you get yours back via fellow Malaysians. It fills my heart with such hope to see Malaysians of all races, near & far, band together to ensure that our democracy is protected. We have to support Bersih's call to fix the overseas voting process. Dear EC Chairman, you were wrong & imposing such a tight timeline on overseas Malaysians is equal to restricting our right to vote, which is unconstitutional.

As for me, I have to apologize to all my fellow Malaysians. I will not be sending back my postal vote for GE14. I cannot afford to spend such a large sum of money on mail that will not arrive in time. However, at the very last minute, I found a Malaysian to bring my ballot from JFK to KLIA by 12pm on May 9th. Then, a different Malaysian will bring it from KLIA to KCH where yet another Malaysian will deliver it to the RO. What a tremendous journey! How can you not be moved by the civic-minded sacrifices made by Malaysians all over the world just for a small piece of paper?! At this moment, we should all be proud to be Malaysian.

See how much trouble those of us outside of the country have to go through to get our votes counted? Those of you back in Malaysia better buck up. My hope is that all of us back home will turn up at our respective polling centers to vote on May 9th. My thoughts & prayers are with you, Malaysia. Do your best! GO OUT & VOTE!!!

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