A group of Malaysians have taken election authorities to court demanding to extend voting rights to nearly 1 million overseas citizens. A group of Malaysians called “My Overseas Vote” said in a statement that six citizens working in the United Kingdom have asked the Kuala Lumpur High Court to force the Election Commission to register them as voters before the next general elections, widely expected by mid-2012.
”To say that only certain groups of citizens are allowed the postal ballot is nonsense that amounts to outright discrimination,” Teo Hoon Seong, one of the litigants, said in the statement. The court is scheduled to hear the first round of arguments on Nov. 14 on whether to allow a full hearing for the lawsuit.
Demands for fairer political rules are on the increase over the past year, prompting thousands of Malaysians to stage a rare march for electoral transparency in Kuala Lumpur in July.
Rights activists have long criticized restrictions that prevent most Malaysians abroad from casting ballots while the exceptions include government workers, military personnel and full-time students.
Since the 1970s, another law has curtailed university students from openly voicing support for political parties. The Malaysia’s Court of Appeals ruled that a nearly 30-year-old law that bars undergraduates from expressing support for political parties was an unconstitutional violation of free speech.
Full Article: TruthDive.