Voters appear confused with the “recommended voting time” they are being shown when checking for their voting location as per their registered address on the MySPR Semak website
Several of them have taken to social media to express their concerns over the matter, wondering if they are bound by the time frame shown to them and if there are any negative implications if they do not follow it.
Malaysian journalist Hadi Azmi, who works as a correspondent for South China Morning Post, shared the same observations on Twitter last week. While he specified that the suggested recommended timing is for crowd control, many still wondered if they would be turned away if they arrived earlier or later.
Got this from a concerned citizen, clearly in relation to this “encouraged time to vote” that is being suggested by @sprgovmy.I understand that trust in public institution is low, but the timing is for crowd control. There are 6 million more voters nationwide this time around. pic.twitter.com/qV21jT6241
— Hadi Azmi (@amerhadiazmi) November 10, 2022
The suggestion for the voting time is just that: a suggestion
It’s not a rule. It’s not absolute. It’s not binding. And you do not need to follow it.
The recommended timing was implemented during the Johor state elections to prevent crowding in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a statement by the Election Commission (EC).
While the EC was urged to remove this from their website to avoid confusing the voters, it has decided to keep it. Just keep in mind that regardless of the recommended time suggested to you, it’s safer to queue before 5pm because some polling centres may close earlier than their stated closing times.
For the record, the opening hours of the polling stations are:
Peninsular Malaysia — 8am to 6pm
Sabah and Sarawak — 7.30am to 5.30pm
Screenshot from the SPR website showing the opening hours of the polling stations.
Image via SPR
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