Volunteers in Singapore help collect and deliver postal ballots for Malaysia state elections
A group of volunteers in Singapore are helping Malaysian voters living here exercise their voting rights in the state elections in August by offering to collect and physically deliver their postal ballots.
A total of 45 people have volunteered under 1ThirdMedia Movement, a non-governmental organisation in Singapore, to ensure that the ballot papers entrusted to them arrive in Malaysia before Polling Day.
Ten locations islandwide have been opened up for the ballot collection exercise, which began last Friday and will end on Wednesday.
The six states participating in the elections – Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan – go to the polls on Saturday.
Mr Calvin Ong, main coordinator of the exercise, told The Straits Times that overseas voters have only a short window of about two weeks to send their postal ballots back to returning officers (RO) in Malaysia.
The overseas ballots collected by 1ThirdMedia Movement will be sent to the group’s consolidation hub in Kuala Lumpur. The ballots will then be sorted and delivered to the respective constituencies.
Using a Telegram channel called Undi Pos SG x 1thirdMedia, Mr Ong and his volunteers share information on the elections, procedures and ballot collection points in Singapore. The channel has close to 2,900 subscribers.
“We are expecting between 2,000 to 2,500 ballots this time. We received 752 ballots on the first two days,” Mr Ong said.
A 38-year-old healthcare professional working in Singapore who wanted to be known only as Ms Wendy said her main concern was not having her ballot reach the RO before polling ends.
“I was lucky to stumble upon these volunteers who reassured me that the ballot will reach on time through their delivery,” she said.
“They do more than just collection. On their Telegram group, they constantly create awareness for the voters by sharing information such as what to do with the ballot envelopes and who can be your witness,” she added.