By now, you’ve probably seen dozens of multi-coloured flags around your area. Whether you live in the city or a town like Klang, various Malaysian political parties have been out and about campaigning for the upcoming 2023 State Election.
Happening on August 12, 2023 (Saturday) across six states, voters will be choosing a total of 245 state assemblymen to represent the citizens of Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan.
If you’re one of the 9.78 million Malaysians eligible for voting this round, here’s a simple guide on how to get your voting information.
Voter eligibility and details
Before voting, you need to check your eligibility status which can be easily done through the MySPR Semak site or mobile app. But generally, you should be qualified to vote if you’re legally 18 years old and above.
The site has three separate sections to check on different elements of the state and national elections.
Not-so-fun fact: There’s no option to choose your preferred language on the MySPR Semak site, but we can help with that a bit below.
Semakan Daftar Pemilih is to look into voter registration details, Semakan Calon Pilihan Raya is where you can get information on this round of election candidates, and Semakan Keputusan Pilihan Raya shows the election results later on.
To get more specific particulars about your voting location and timing, you’ll have to click into Semakan Daftar Pemilih and key in your IC number. Do note that it should not contain any spaces or dashes.
Once in, you’ll be given details of where you’re supposed to vote and what time you’re allowed to vote. The location (Pusat Mengundi) is typically a public space that’s based on the address on your IC, while the timing is usually between 8AM to 6PM.
The site also provides a suggested voting time to manage the crowds that’s written in red text. But again, it’s just a guideline and it’s okay if you accidentally miss it. You can still go ahead so long as it’s within the polling window.
Another thing to take note of is your polling station (Saluran) at the voting location. There will be multiple stations set up and you’re assigned to a specific one.
Voting and candidate details
On the same page, there’s another tab titled Maklumat Daftar Pemilih Disahkan. In it, you’ll find:
- Your locality (Lokaliti)
- Your voting area (Daerah Mengundi)
- Your state legislative assembly (DUN which stands for Dewan Undangan Negeri)
- Your parliament (Parlimen); and
- Your state (Negeri)
This list is important because it helps you to find out who the election candidates are, whether it’s an ADUN (state assemblymen for state elections) or MP (member of parliament for general elections).
Once you’ve determined these, you can proceed to check out more details about these candidates. Leaving the page and going to Semakan Calon Pilihan Raya would serve as a good first source of information.
You can choose the state you’re voting in to find the district you’re under. Instead of searching for the name, you could also refer to the district numbers as the list is in numerical order.
For example, if you’re under the Selangor state and your district is Dengkil, you can find your list of candidates for the current state election by looking for No.55.
This list will include the names of the candidates and the political parties they’re representing.
But that’s where the information ends. The rest is up to you as a voter to search up information on the candidates online. Only then would you be able to responsibly cast your ballot for whoever that better aligns with your values.
What to take note of when voting
If this is your first time voting, here are some things to remember and take note of:
1. Bring your IC
You’re technically required to bring your Malaysian identification card everywhere you go. In fact, you could actually get fined or be jailed if you’re found to not have it on you.
But if you’re known for accidentally forgetting it, it’s best to double and triple check before leaving the house. Other forms of identification documents allowed include your passport and driver’s licence.
2. Avoid wearing nail polish
Upon voting, you’ll be asked to dip one of your fingers in electoral ink. So while it’s not prohibited for voters to wear nail polish, it might be safer to not have your nails painted before the elections.
Otherwise, it might be mistaken for electoral ink and you might be barred from voting, as the assumption is that you’re trying to vote again.
3. Dress accordingly
The main restrictions when it comes to your dressing on voting day is that you’re not allowed to wear anything bearing a candidate or political party’s name and symbol.
That said, everyone is still encouraged to dress appropriately. Covered shoes and more modest clothing might be good choices.
4. Check for stains and tears on your ballot paper
In the polling station, you’ll be given one ballot paper containing a serial number and a certified stamp. It’s crucial that you ensure it doesn’t have any stains, misprinted information, or tears (even minor ones).
If there are any issues, immediately request for another ballot slip from the Election Commission officers in the room. Otherwise, it could be counted as a rejected vote later on.
Regardless of which candidate you’re choosing, travel safely, and happy voting!
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post / Wiki Commons