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Australians cast ballots for Federal Election at High Commission

Last update: 18/05/2019
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- Over 1,000 Australians currently living and travelling in Malaysia had cast their ballots in the Australian Federal Election at its High Commission in Kuala Lumpur as voting period ended at 2pm today.

Advanced voting process for Australians overseas began since May 6 at around 90 Australian embassies and consulates across the world which had been designated as overseas voting centres for its citizens.

Australia's High Commissioner in Malaysia, Andrew Goledzinowski, said the process went smoothly, adding that the ballot papers would be couriered to Canberra as soon as possible.

A total of six officers, including Goledzinowski - who was also the Returning Officer - had been tasked with overseeing the whole voting process.

“Australia's elections, regardless of who you support, are always conducted in a spirit of warmth and friendliness at the voting centres, and today's event is an expression of that,” he said.

He said this at a briefing for a group of Malaysian officials and media who were invited to witness the overseas voting process and the High Commission's roles in supporting and facilitating its citizens in casting their votes at the High Commission, today.

Among those present were Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong, Dewan Rakyat's secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah, representatives from Malaysia’s Electoral Reform Committee and the Election Commission, as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Earlier, Goledzinowski had also cast his vote here.

An observation made by Bernama International News Service found that Australian citizens merely need their passport as proof of citizenship before proceeding to vote.

According to Goledzinowski, the voters would only need to sign a declaration form stating that they had enrolled to vote at the High Commission, while verification would be conducted in Canberra.

In another development, Goledzinowski also said that Australia would contribute an additional AUD400,000 (RM1.2 million) to the UNDP Electoral Reform Assistance Project in Malaysia, taking Australia's total contribution to AUD1 million (RM3 million).

The UNDP is working with the EC and the Electoral Reform Committee to reform the electoral system in Malaysia.

Voting in Australia is compulsory for citizens aged 18 years and above. According to the High Commission, 96.8 percent of eligible Australians had enrolled to vote this year.

Australia cast their votes on Saturday (May 18) to elect new Member of Parliaments and Prime Minister.

-- BERNAMA





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