©The Star (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR: A former government scholar who studied in Britain complained to the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms that he was denied his voting rights when he tried to register in 2007.
Dr Shawn Tan, who was studying at Cambridge University then, said he tried to register with the Malaysian High Commission in Britain as a postal voter but was told that he could not vote.
“The consul said only government servants could vote,” he told PSC on the second day of its public hearing yesterday.
Dr Tan said he sent an e–mail to the Election Commission but did not receive any reply.
EC deputy research secretary Harun Che Sue, when asked by panel member Rasah MP Anthony Loke to confirm Tan’s claim, however said permanent students overseas, regardless of whether they were on government scholarship or otherwise, could vote.
Panel member Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli pointed out that Malaysian students in Russia, the Ukraine and Egypt had also complained that they were not allowed to vote.
Another panel member Gombak MP Azmin Ali told Dr Tan to submit all his e–mail communication and documents to the panel for investigation.
Another individual Kee Thuan Chye said his daughter had registered to be a voter but her registration was not accepted even after six months.
Suhakam deputy president Datuk Khaw Lake Tee said no constitutional amendment was required for automatic voter registration.
She said no police permit should be required for rallies during election campaign but organisers should be held solely responsible for any untoward incident.
S. Ambiga, who was asked to speak as an individual and not on behalf of Bersih 2.0, and Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee agreed that no constitutional change was needed for the proposed use of indelible ink.