The Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) just introduced a new requirement – you must surrender your phone before voting in the 15th General Election!
GE15 : You Must Surrender Your Phone Before Voting!
At 2:15 PM on 9 November 2022, the Malaysia Election Commission (SPR) issued an infographic detailing the 10 steps you need to take to vote on the day of the 15th General Election (GE15).
Eagle-eyed Malaysian netizens quickly spotted Steps 6 and 9, in which there is a new requirement to surrender your phone before voting, and collecting it back after you have voted.
Many people have asked me if this is true, as there was never such a requirement in the past.
It also did not help when people shared fake news claiming that phones are not allowed to be brought to polling stations during GE15.
You Can Bring Phone, But Must Surrender It Before Voting!
In the past, you are allowed to bring in your phone, even to the voting booth. However, you are not allowed to take a photo of your ballot paper.
In fact, it is an offence that will subject you to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine of not more than RM5,000, or both, if you are found guilty.
I checked with SPR and BERSIH and confirmed that this is a new but legitimate requirement in GE15.
You are allowed to bring your phone or smartphone to the polling station, but you must surrender it at the table of the Ketua Tempat Mengundi (Head of the Polling Station).
After marking and casting your vote, you will then retrieve your phone / smartphone from the KTM’s table, before leaving the polling station.
This will help prevent anyone from accidentally or intentionally taking photos of their votes / ballot papers, and hopefully, prevent vote buying.
Former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir himself asked the SPR (belatedly) to ban people from bringing their phones to the polling stations. One has to wonder – why didn’t he ask them to do this for all those years he was Prime Minister? #eyeroll
In any case, this is genuine news, so please share this article out, and let everyone know.
You can still bring your phone, but you must surrender it before voting, and you can only use it to selfies and photos after leaving the polling booth.
Happy voting to all Malaysians!
Just remember – democracy does not guarantee us a good government. It only guarantees us the right to vote out a bad one!
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