KOTA KINABALU, Oct 11 — Sabahans and Sarawakians based in peninsular Malaysia should be allowed to register as postal voters for the general election (GE15), said Warisan deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking.

The incumbent Penampang MP said that consideration should be given to them as many might find it costly to return to their hometowns to vote, especially with the current high price of flight tickets in mind.

“It would be a travesty of justice, more so in the modern era, where there are technologies available to the Election Commission to make it easy for Sabahans and Sarawakians to exercise their voting rights.

“What more when Sabahans and Sarawakians residing in peninsular Malaysia are separated by the sea and must travel back to Sabah and Sarawak to vote,” he said.

Leiking, who is also Moyog assemblyman, said that standard operating practices have evolved recently, and video calls and conferencing had become the norm for business and official meetings, and even court proceedings.

“With such creativity, at the most-needed of moments during the pandemic, the EC should take into consideration the high cost of air travel for Sabahan and Sarawakian voters residing in peninsular Malaysia, and allow them to register as postal voters instead of requiring them to physically fly back to exercise their voting rights,” he said.

Leiking said it would be prudent as part of the “Keluarga Malaysia” concept mooted by caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“I am sure he would not like any of his Malaysian family, especially those Sabahans and Sarawakians who are unable to return home to vote, to be deprived of their constitutional rights,” he said.