Last-minute rush for Malaysians trying to cast their vote from overseas

(From left) Wong Keen Hon, Stacey Low, Josephine Ong, Jackie Ong, Vincent Chan and Lee Hui Lii travelling from Singapore to Ipoh with their balloting slips to vote. PHOTO: STACEY LOW

SINGAPORE - When Malaysian citizen Mrs Agnes Koay received her balloting slip at 7pm on Monday (May 7), she did not think she would be able to send it back in time to cast her vote on Wednesday - even with the help of a courier.

Thanks to a complex chain of events - involving Facebook and a friend of a friend - it now seems that she will get her voice heard, though others may not be so lucky.

Reports have surfaced that many Malaysians living abroad, who registered as postal voters, received their balloting slips with only a few days left before polling day, without having enough time to use international express couriers.

Others still had not yet received their ballot papers, according to a report on May 5.

For 37-year-old Mrs Koay, voting in her home country's elections was of paramount importance.

The stay-at-home mother turned to social media to find someone who was going to Singapore who could pass the slip to her sister, 40-year-old Ms Stacey Low.

The financing sales leader plans to drive to Ipoh to cast her vote on Wednesday and Mrs Koay managed to get in touch with another Malaysian voter, Mr Seer Jin Chian, who passed on Mrs Koay's balloting paper after he flew to Singapore from Taipei.

Mr Seer himself is also going to great lengths to vote.

After jetting in, the 25-year-old will catch a train to Kranji then take a bus to Johor.

The university student chose the route because flying here was cheaper than flying to Malaysia - though even the Singapore flight used up his second semester school fees.

However he added: "The cost of taking the flight to Singapore was minimal compared to the cost of not getting my vote in."

A grateful Mrs Koay said: "Every single vote counts. We all just want to make a difference even though it may just be another one."

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