Saturday, May 04, 2013

GE 13 : Voted in Paris on 28 Apr 2013

Despite the expensive train tickets, I decided to go to vote in Paris. There were several pull factors, mainly because it will be the first time I could exercise my right voting outside of Malaysia. Equally important was that the candidate in my State constituency is a capable man. I have to vote for him.

I arrived in Paris before 10am. It was a sunny day with cloudy sky. The Embassy was located in a peaceful neighborhood close to the University of Dauphine. Some Bersih volunteers were interviewing some electorates who just casted their votes. I was greeted with the warmest welcome from the Embassy employees. While waiting for my friend, I watched the voting process displayed on a TV. I chatted a bit with one of the employees, and was told that I couldn't take any photo during the whole process. Ok, as a first time voter, I didn't know much. I was quite anxious as the postal voting process is quite different from the one at home.

Once my friend arrived, we put our cellphone and camera into a plastic bag, then went upstairs to the polling room. I handed over my ID card, the first staff read my name, the second one handed me an envelope (Sampul Keutamaan). Inside the envelope I saw two smaller envelopes (Envelope B): The pink one contained a form and an Envelope A with the state ballot inside; the white one contained another form and another Envelope A with the parliamentary ballot inside. I was instructed to make sure that the serial number on the form matched the serial number on Envelope B and the ballot in Envelope A for both State and Parliamentary seats. It went nonchalantly for the State ballot (two candidates) but everyone was laughing (there were three staffs supervising the process) as I took out the second ballot as it was a long piece of ballot with 6 candidates! After checking, both me and the witness signed the forms. I then proceeded to a small booth to choose my candidates. I took out the ballot, put a cross beside the candidate, put the ballot back into Envelope A, put both Envelope A and the form into Envelope B, then sealed it. Repeated for both ballots. Final step, put both envelopes into a postal bag. The voting process was then ended.
When we stepped outside the Embassy, we were greeted with Bersih volunteers who cheerfully congratulated us. They then asked us to write a message that we wanted to share with other Malaysians, and with all these photos they have made a video.

Once casted my vote, we went to Chinatown to meet a friend. We wanted to try Dim Sum in one of the restaurants there but it was full! Despite on a Sunday, the whole area was convivial with restaurants patrons and shoppers. We ended up eating roasted pork and duck which were delicious as well. Next we went to a bubble tea shop. All in all we chatted 6 hours non-stop!

Back home, I was still suspicious with the postal voting process, especially the part how it ensured the privacy of my voting decision. In both forms it stated my ID number with the serial number. The Election Commission explained in their website that once the ballots arrived in Malaysia, they will open the Envelope B, then check if the serial number in this Envelope B matched with the one on the ballot inside Envelope A. If yes, they will put the form a side, and the Envelope A will be put on other side together with all other ballots, and be sent to the constituency for counting. Still, it means that if they want to trace my vote, they can just check the serial number on the form. I don't really trust the process but I wanted to give it a try. Every vote counts!


  1. every vote counts! great job! pray for a better malaysia! :)

  2. glad that u voted :) malaysia 加油!

  3. Good job for voting! I live in France too, in Paris to be specific, reading your post is interesting.I wrote to the embassy about voting from Paris, but they replied somethimg that I don't quite understand and my registration has suddenly dissappeared closing the election.