Malaysia is holding the 15th General Election (also known as GE15) on 19 November 2022, which is under one week away. Candidate nominations took place on 5 November, hereby permitting a 14-day campaigning period until the day of voting. With the automatic voter registration and lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, this would lead to a significant addition of voters to the voting scene. The Election Commission predicts an addition of 6.3 million voters.
Senior Citizen Demographics in Malaysia’s General Elections
Senior citizens have the right to vote in Malaysia’s general elections. In 2022, the 60 and above age group represents about 17.8% of eligible voters for GE15.
Nonetheless, there are some senior citizens who have remarked that it will be challenging to vote. For instance, the polling stations are expected to be crowded, regardless of the individual’s allocated area. The waiting time is expected to be long, averaging about two hours. In addition, many polling stations are hosted in schools, in which the ballot box may be out of reach, especially for wheelchair users. Staircases may prove to be a roadblock for the individual as well. Then, this may discourage senior citizens from voting due to accessibility and the need for extra care.
Preparing Seniors for General Election Day
In spite of the reservations a senior citizen may have, it is still vital to make preparations to exercise one’s right to vote. Arrangements can be made in advance or considered in order to overcome possible challenges. Every vote counts in order to share one’s voice on the political scene. Therefore, here are some tips to help you and your loved ones to be ready for election day on 19 November.
Tip #1: Locate your voting centre
First, it is important to find out where your voting centre is located. This information can be checked on the official MySPR website and mobile application. With this, there are details on the voting centre, designated stream and number. Most likely, this voting centre is the closest one to you according to your address. In addition, there is a recommended voting time as well. However, you do not need to vote strictly at this time.
With this, you can assist to scout the venue beforehand to make note of the journey required. For instance, take note of narrow hallways or stairways which may pose as a hindrance on the day itself.
Tip #2: Familiarise oneself with the voting procedure
As voting is only held every 4-5 years once, the process may be less than familiar to some. In fact, some people may not have voted in the previous election. Take the opportunity to read the infographic that has been prepared by the Election Commission.
- Bring your IC (identification card).
- Ensure that the clerk has taken down your name and identification number correctly.
- Your fingerprint will be inked as a part of the formality.
- Set aside your mobile phone at the designated area to carry out the voting process. It is advisable for your mobile phone to remain on ‘silent mode’ throughout the entire time that you are in the voting venue.
- Mark an ‘X’ beside the party that you are voting for. Choose one candidate only and refrain from smudging the ballot paper.
- Place the ballot paper in the right box.
- The party that you vote for is a secret in the voting hall, avoid sharing it with others on who you have chosen.
Tip #3: Make transportation arrangements
Refrain from leaving your senior citizen or loved ones without a mode of transportation on the voting day itself. As the day will be busy, it would be ideal to sort the logistics prior to the voting day. Coordinate on who is driving or escorting the senior citizen, and be ready to have a backup plan in case of unforeseen circumstances (e.g. public transportation not in service). Work with a timing that will fit the senior citizen best, as the voting time is scheduled from 8 am to approximately 5 pm.
Tip #4: Be prepared with light refreshments
You may check with the voting centre or committee in advance, but it would be advisable to bring light refreshments, especially for the senior citizens. While waiting in line, you may find yourself thirsty or a little famished. In addition, you may also consider bringing a folding chair to take a rest from being on one’s feet the entire time. Keep it light so that it is easy to carry. As the rainy season is upon the country, it may be advisable to prepare a jacket or raincoat in case of inclement weather.
Tip #5: Keep clean
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still present, it is highly recommended for persons at risk to remain masked up and take safety precautions. As such, don the appropriate mask (ranging from surgical masks, KF94 or other designs), bring your wet wipes, and other means. Be sure that your senior citizens have the necessary items to keep clean. Upon your return home, take a shower and place the clothes in the wash to avoid contamination.
Tip #6: Do not wear items affiliated with a political party
Avoid wearing clothes and apparel that are associated with a political party whether it is a logo or the name of the political party on your apparel. This is not allowed and would bar a person from the voting centre. In addition, this can incur a fine as a form of offence.
Medical Escort During Election Day
Exercising the right to vote remains an important task for all, even for senior citizens. However, for senior citizens with health conditions or mobility troubles, they may wish to consider having a medical escort. Homage provides the following service for those who may need it. While an escort is primarily engaged to bring your loved one to medical appointments and follow-up consultations, families can also use escorts for important functions.
The trained professional is able to ensure support for the senior citizens by accompanying them to and fro. In addition, they can keep your senior citizens safe and sound every step of the way. Therefore, you may wish to consider a medical escort for a day as important as election day, on 19 November.
Interested in getting a medical escort for your loved ones during GE? Fill in the form below and our Care Advisory will reach out to you the soonest!
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- Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia – SPR (2022). 10 Langkah Pengundian Pada Hari Mengundi [Infographic]. Retrieved 10 November 2022, from https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=667683801387408&set=a.403693917786399 .