Voters are warned not to take photos of their ballot papers and share it through the Internet as it is a serious offence. “Voting is confidential. They are not supposed to take photograph and post it online – on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else,” said State Elections Commission director Datu Takun Sunggah when met by The Borneo Post recently. “They should not do that. Don’t expose anything which should be confidential.” He added that this applied to all voters regardless if they were voting at the polling station or voting through post.
Earlier this week, a national daily quoted a senior EC official based in Peninsular Malaysia as saying that taking a picture and posting it online is akin to taking the ballot paper outside the election hall and that the person could be charged under election law.
The EC official was also quoted as saying that a person found guilty of the offence could be jailed up to 2 years, fined RM5,000, or both. Furthermore, that person would be barred from voting or running in elections for the next 5 years.
The state EC director confirmed that the election laws and regulations in Peninsular Malaysia are also applicable in the state and that the same penalties would apply.
However, Takun acknowledged that it would be difficult to stop voters from posting pictures of their ballots online if voters wanted to do so.