At a forum on political financing held at Harbourview Hotel last saturday the EC was caught for only exercise discretion to allow the spouses of the police and the EC staff to utilise postal voting -but not Sarawakians living out of towns for various reasons. The disallowance is believed to have caused the voting rates in various Sarawak elections to lag seriously behind all other states especially in Penisular. From a political perspective the suppression of the voting rights of the mostly youthful and out-going Sarawakians imply that there is a hidden agenda to steer the voting pattern of Sarawak towards the conservative direction. To clear itself of political maneuvering the EC should exercise its discretionary power to include the out-of-town Sarawakian voters among the postal voters list.
Since the other groups allowed to utilise postal votes to exercise their voting rights are no more deserving than the out-of-town Sarawakians the EC should as a matter of urgency include them for postal vote. Also since the others allowed as postal voters on temprory basis had not caused too much administrative hassles there is even less reasons for the EC to ignore these citizens of Malaysia. If we see how our neighbouring countries open poling centres in their embassies and consulates in Malaysia to allow their expatriates to vote we should feel ashamed if we cannot follow their standards.