While Malaysians would expect to be provided a set of rules to follow while casting their votes on polling day, one that may perhaps have been unforeseen is a new guideline requiring them to surrender their phones after acquiring the ballot paper.
The Election Commission (EC) announced the rule its voting guide issued yesterday (Nov 9).
Here is the Twitter post highlighting the smartphone rule, along with other election day directives:
— Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (@sprgovmy) November 9, 2022
The guide states that voters would be required to put their cell phones in a box at the officer in charge’s counter immediately after obtaining their ballot paper from the third voting clerk. They will return to the officer in charge’s station upon voting to pick up their smartphones.
Alternatively, netizens suggest that the best course of action is to leave your phone at home while entering the voting facility if you are hesitant about handing it over.
While the reasoning behind this rule was not explicitly stated, some Twitter users have speculated that its purpose is to prevent voters from taking photos of the ballot papers as a means to ask for money or any other form of compensation/bribery.
Here is a full list of the 10 rules mentioned in the guideline:
- Make your entry only when authorised by the Police Officer manning the entrance.
- Submit your MyKad /Identity Documents and Check Slip (if any) to the First Polling Clerk. Then, show both hands to the clerk for inspection.
- The First Polling Clerk will give the voter’s MyKad / Identity Document to the Second Polling Clerk for verification. Ensure that your ID number and name, which will be called out by the First Voting clerk are accurate.
- Move forward to the Second Polling Clerk. Dip the index finger of your left hand into the bottle of Election Ink when advised to by the Second Polling Clerk.
- Receive the ballot paper from the Third Polling Clerk. (The First Polling Clerk will mark your name in the Electoral Register Book when your finger is dipped into the bottle of Election Ink).
- Move to the Polling Station Head (KTM) desk to surrender your mobile phone.
- Proceed to the ballot box and mark an ‘X’ in the empty space next to the candidate’s name and symbol in the Ballot Paper using a pen. Choose one candidate only.
- Insert the ballot paper in the correct Ballot Box.
- Move to the KTM desk again to pick up your cell phone.
- Immediately leave the polling station after voting.
Happy voting, and make sure to follow the rules to ensure a smooth proceeding!