Palpable zeal among Malaysia's Indonesian diaspora to vote: Asy'ari

Palpable zeal among Malaysia's Indonesian diaspora to vote: Asy'ari

General Elections Commission (KPU) Commissioner Hasyim Asy'ari

Jakarta (ANTARA) -
General Elections Commission (KPU) Commissioner Hasyim Asy'ari, here, Tuesday, highlighted the high level of enthusiasm among eligible voters in Malaysia to vote at polling stations readied by the Kuala Lumpur-based Overseas Electoral Committee (PPLN).

"It was quite remarkable to witness the enthusiasm of eligible voters thronging the Indonesian representative compounds in Kuala Lumpur to exercise their voting rights. Those unaware of the goings-on thought that the crowds were rallying," he stated.

The local PPLN has prepared 170 polling stations across the nation to enable 126 thousand eligible voters to cast their ballot at the booths on Sunday, he remarked, adding that the KPU had taken a decision to set up polling stations at the compounds of Indonesian structures.

Asy'ari believes that the Commission took the decision following no response from the Malaysian Government to the electoral committee's request to set up polling stations outside the compounds of the Indonesian representative offices.

"The polling stations are set up at the Indonesian Embassy, Wisma Duta, or the Indonesian Ambassador's residence, and an Indonesian school in Kuala Lumpur," he revealed.

To cater to the overwhelming enthusiasm among Indonesian voters to take part in this year's parliamentary and presidential elections, the electoral committee has increased the voting hours that were earlier set at 6 p.m. local time to facilitate all eligible voters to exercise their voting rights.

Asy'ari pointed out that over 500 thousand Indonesians in Malaysia were eligible to vote.

The overseas voting process came under the public glare following complaints from several Indonesians, who failed to cast their vote in polling stations.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla explained that polling booths in some nations had sent away several eligible voters perhaps due to the complex election process coupled with high enthusiasm among the Indonesian diaspora to vote.

Kalla made the statement while drawing reference to the Indonesians, comprising those in Sydney, Australia, and Hong Kong, China, who were unable to cast their ballots owing to time restrictions, as polling stations reportedly closed down at 5 p.m. local time. Indonesians residing abroad have cast their vote during the past few days. The voters have to select a president, vice president, parliamentarians, and local legislators of the House of Representatives.