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Indonesian expatriates in Malaysia accused of facing voter list registration hurdles for 2024 General Election

Allegations on social media hint at hurdles faced by Indonesian expatriates in Malaysia to join the Permanent Voter List for the 2024 General Elections.

Those attempting registration allegedly face inquiries about candidate preferences, sparking concerns about potential motives aimed at swaying votes toward specific candidates or political parties.

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INDONESIA: An online allegation has emerged on social media, suggesting that Indonesian expatriates in Malaysia are encountering obstacles in being included in the Permanent Voter List (DPT) for the upcoming 2024 General Elections.

A post shared widely on Wednesday (3 Jan) by an account previously known on Twitter as @txtdaripemerintah highlighted the challenges faced by Indonesian citizens (WNI) residing in Malaysia regarding their inclusion in the Permanent Voter List.

The post implied that the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) in Malaysia was impeding the registration of Indonesian citizens living abroad in the DPT.

As per the account, which had received a direct message from the Indonesian community in Malaysia, WNI were reportedly facing hindrances in becoming permanent voters.

The account asserted that a significant number of WNI in Malaysia remained unregistered in the DPT.

Furthermore, even those seeking to register were purportedly subjected to inquiries about their candidate preferences, leading to unnecessary complications in the registration process.

Hinting at intentional discrepancies in voter registration, the account implied a potential motive by PPLN Malaysia to influence votes in favour of specific presidential and vice-presidential candidates or political parties.

In a follow-up post, the netizen disclosed that the reported issues have been escalated to Paswalu.

Stressing the importance of equal rights for Indonesians in Malaysia to access voting, the netizen emphasized that lessons from past issues in 2019 should guide the PPLN to act with diligence and fairness in addressing the current challenges faced by Indonesian expatriates in Malaysia regarding their voting rights.

Indonesian Ambassador counter allegation regarding voter list issues

However, the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono, refuted these claims, asserting no deliberate obstruction of WNI obtaining DPT from PPLN Malaysia.

He dismissed the notion that specifying a preferred candidate during registration was a hurdle, labelling it as misinformation.

While acknowledging that many WNI were yet to be registered in the DPT in Malaysia, Hermono attributed this to several factors, including the high number of illegal Indonesian workers, unclear DPT data, and delays in registering overseas voters (DPTLN).

He revealed that an estimated 447,000 DPTLN had been established by the Election Commission (KPU) in Kuala Lumpur on 21 June 2023, with no possibility of changes after the plenary meeting involving KPU, political party representatives, Election Supervisory Agency (Banwaslu), and PPLN Malaysia.

Nevertheless, Hermono admitted that the DPTLN figure did not encompass all WNI in Malaysia, considering the addition of 100,000 new WNI and approximately 63,000 individuals renewing their Malaysian passports after the DPT was determined.

Addressing concerns about the accessibility of the DPT, Hermono emphasized that being unregistered did not equate to losing voting rights.

He assured that unregistered WNI could still vote in the 2024 General Elections by directly visiting Malaysia’s polling stations (TPS) on 11 February 2024.

These individuals would be listed under Special Voters (DPK) and must bring identification documents such as ID cards or passports.

Despite the ongoing preparations for the 2024 elections in Malaysia, including the availability of 223,000 ballots at TPS, 67,000 mobile ballot boxes, and 156,000 postal ballots, Hermono predicted that only 30-40% of the total votes would come from the expatriate community in Malaysia.

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