High court denies Malaysians abroad right to vote

January 06, 2012
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled Friday (January 6th) that six Malaysians working in the United Kingdom don't have the right to cast ballots abroad.

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    The six wanted the court to force the Election Commission to amend its regulations so that Malaysians overseas are allowed to vote. Currently, only government employees, army personnel and full-time students can file absentee votes abroad.

    Prime Minister Najib Razak promised election reform ahead of the general election after a mass rally in July against alleged electoral fraud and irregularities. One of the key demands of the rally, in which 1,600 people were arrested and police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, was to give the roughly one million Malaysians abroad the right to vote.

    A bipartisan panel for poll reforms made recommendation adopted by parliament that include allowing overseas voting, using indelible ink and reducing deceased voters from the rolls.

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