Monday, April 29, 2013

First Time Overseas Voters Set To Vote Sunday, Hope For Continued Unity

 KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 (Bernama) -- First time overseas voters are all geared up to practice their right to vote in the 13th General Election (GE13) on Sunday through postal votes, including those from Australia where a large chunk of the total 6,360 overseas voters are currently residing. For three-time World Cup track cycling champion and Commonwealth Games medallist, Azizulhasni Awang, 25, who is currently studying at the Victoria University in Melbourne, he is all excited at being able to vote for the first time in GE13. Azizulhasni, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Sport Science in Human Movement, felt that his choice for the government, which would lead Malaysia for the next five years would also affect the development of athletes in the country. "I'm so excited. I can't describe my feelings now. Every vote counts. So I have to exercise my responsibility as a Malaysian to vote in the election as it determines the ruling government that will give benefits to the athletes," he told Bernama in an email interview. Azizulhasni, who has resumed training after a long break from the London Olympics, expressed hope that everybody would respect each other regardless of their political differences. "I hope everyone, it doesn't matter from which party you are, will still respect each other, because we are Malaysians. I love Malaysia. I hope the spirit of togetherness will last forever and also for a better Malaysia in the future," he said.

 In the United Kingdom, a third year accounting and finance student at the London School of Economics, Azeem Abu Bakar, who is also a first time voter, said he was excited because he would finally contribute to the country's political landscape. "I'm grateful that the election commission is extending its effort to empower our democratic rights by implementing postal voting. Without it, I will have to wait for another four or five years to vote simply because I'm not in the country now," he told Bernama. He said he was voting because he would regret it if the elections produce an "undesirable outcome" to him. "If I vote, I know that I have done what I could. Generally, the election would affect me through the socio-economic system that will be used by the party that wins to run the country," he added. Commenting on Barisan Nasional's and Pakatan Rakyat's move in lining up young candidates, he said that it was refreshing to see new talents, however they should be introduced to the public. He noted that both coalitions have created their own candidates' profile websites, namely for BN candidates and for PKR's candidates. Meanwhile, a final year postgraduate student at the University of Manchester, Norshah Aizat Shuaib, 24, also a first time voter, expressed hope for a peaceful and smooth polling. "Whatever the decision made by the people, hopefully Malaysia will continue to move forward and not merely talk about politics without any progress. Politics is important, but the progress of a country does not depend on that aspect alone," he said. He also hoped that Malaysians would be united regardless of the ruling government, to ensure that the sovereignty and peace in the country is protected, adding that criticising is good, but let it be for the betterment of the country. According to Election Commission chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, the biggest number of postal voters reside in Australia, followed by United Kingdom and China. -- BERNAMA

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