Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said yesterday he had never suggested that only tax-paying Malaysians overseas are allowed to become postal voters. Instead, he said, what he suggested was that in determining the eligibility of Malaysians abroad to become postal voters, they might need to fulfill certain conditions as practised in other countries. This is due to the fact that not all Malaysians abroad are eligible to become postal voters, he told reporters after receiving the Umar Abdul Aziz Award at the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration here yesterday. For instance, he said, there were countries which allowed their citizens to become postal voters provided that they had been abroad no longer than five years and had made a trip back home during the period. In some countries, he said, the period allowable was four years.
“I also gave an example of the practice in the United States where postal voters should be taxpayers; but never did I mention that I will propose that only taxpayers are allowed to become postal voters abroad,” he said. His statement came in the wake of criticisms by various parties over a purported statement made by him that only tax-paying Malaysians abroad are allow to become postal voters.
“The important thing is that Malaysians abroad should apply to become postal voters. If they have fulfilled all the conditions but have not applied to become one, then there’s nothing we can do. “They must apply to become postal voters; and then we’ll look into the conditions such as the number of years that they have been abroad and whether they have made a trip back home during the period, meaning, they maintain contact with the country and know their areas and their constituencies.