Malaysia sees high turnout in overseas voting

By The Star | Source: ANN
Malaysians abroad got into an early polling mood, with high turnout in some of the 103 missions worldwide that also provided drinks and snacks for those who waited to cast their votes.

Election Commission secretary Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria said about 50 per cent to 60 per cent of registered Malaysian voters had cast their votes in various countries such as Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan by noon yesterday.

There are 6,339 overseas postal voters, marking the first time Malaysian nationals were voting from abroad. Registered voters in Britain, the United States and certain other countries are expected to cast their votes by early today, given the time difference.

In Beijing, 564 Malaysians in China are registered with the EC and an estimated 74.9 per cent turned up to cast their votes at the Malaysian embassy here and consulate offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Hong Kong.

“The postal voting process is easy and convenient. I don’t think a lot of people would have the time to travel back to Malaysia just for that,” said voter Quah Kean Eng, after casting his vote at the Malaysian embassy.

Malaysian Ambassador to China Iskandar Sarudin said the number of voters who turned up in Beijing was 121, Hong Kong 220, Shanghai 171, Guangzhou 35, and Kunming 17.

In Singapore, chemical engineering student Song Wai Kit, 22, took a day off from preparing for his examination to cast his ballot.

“The people were really nice. They gave very clear instructions on how to vote,” he said.

In Melbourne, it was a festive atmosphere at the Malaysian consulate in St Kilda Road, with stalls serving Malaysian delicacies like nasi kerabu, ondeh-ondeh and curry puffs to around 1,700 people who waited to cast their ballots.

In Bangkok, Diyana Yahaya was up early to cast her vote at the Malaysian embassy on Sathorn Road.