JOHOR BAHRU: A total of 1,021 postal votes cast by Singapore-based voters arrived in Malaysia on Thursday (Mar 10) ahead of the Johor state polls on Mar 12.
The Undi Johor initiative, launched by several non-governmental organisations such as charity group 1ThirdMedia Movement and Malaysian youth democracy movement Undi18, has worked to collect and consolidate postal votes from Johor residents working in Singapore.
Last Tuesday, Bernama reported that Malaysian volunteers from the 1Thirdmedia Movement would work to collect postal votes around Singapore before taking them back to Johor.
Volunteer Farrah Diyana Mohamad Ali, 34, said about 5,000 postal ballot papers were collected, with two deliveries made on Mar 6 and Mar 8.
Thursday's delivery was the last batch of postal votes from Singapore handled by these volunteers.
The ballot papers on Thursday were transported in a suitcase by Sarawak-born Mohd Hafeez A Jaz, 36, who resides and works in Singapore.
The 1ThirdMedia Movement volunteer took a bus from Woodlands at 12.40pm and arrived at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal at about 1.50pm via the vaccinated travel lane.
Upon arrival in Johor Bahru on Thursday, Mohd Hafeez underwent several procedures at the checkpoint, including an on-arrival COVID-19 screening test.
He then handed over the luggage containing the postal ballot papers to an Undi18 volunteer, Mandeep Singh, at about 2.15pm at the bus terminal.
“I consider this as charity work to help and facilitate Malaysians in Singapore fulfil their responsibilities as registered voters,” said Mohd Hafeez, who said the responsibility entrusted to him by the 1ThirdMedia Movement to bring the ballot papers to Malaysia was not a burden at all.
Mandeep said his team’s task was to hand over the ballot papers to the returning officers on Friday, after they complete the process of counting and sorting out the ballots according to state constituencies.
Since Mar 1, the Election Commission issued 36,729 ballot papers to those entitled to vote by post for the Johor state election.
Of these, 7,814 ballot papers were issued in the Form 1B category for Malaysian citizens abroad.
All ballot papers must be returned to the respective returning officers before 5pm on polling day on Mar 12.