The Star Online|Malaysia 13th General Election

Election FAQs

FAQs & answers

1. How can I change my voting address?

You can do it at the post office after changing the address on your identity card, or through the Registration Centres.

2. How can someone run in an election?

When the election date is announced, go to the returning officer of the constituency you wish to run in and fill in a set of forms and a declarative statement. You will have to pay RM20.

3. How often do we have elections?

Every parliamentary term is five years, but the Prime Minister can decide to call elections before the term is up.

4. Brief explanation of the first past the post system, which is used in Malaysia

It is the simplest election system, where the person with the highest number of votes win. It is simpler compared to others like mixed proportional representation system or the transfer vote system in Australia or the second-round voting system. It allows the majority to determine who governs.

5. Do candidates have to pay anything to the EC to contest in an election?

The deposit for parliamentary seats is RM10,000 and for state seats, it is RM5,000. You are returned the money if you obtain more than 1/8 of the votes.

6. What are some of the election offences?

Some political parties and candidates ignore some of the provisions in the Election Offences Act, especially those pertaining to do's and don'ts during the campaign period itself. For example, you cannot campaign after the end of the campaign period on the eve of polling day. During polling day, the Act says not to put up a party booth for canvassing or campaigning. No pondok parti. Of course, not all are set up by party officials themselves. Some party leaders can't control their supporters, but it is still against the law. Another offence is taking down other parties' posters or campaign materials. Only the EC has the authority to do that.

8. Can Malaysians working abroad vote via post? How does it work?

Yes, you are eligible to apply to vote by post from abroad if you meet all the conditions as follows:
a) Citizens of Malaysia
b) Registered voter
c) Reside outside the country except in Singapore, the southern region of Thailand, Brunei and Kalimantan Indonesia
d) Must have been in Malaysia or back to Malaysia for not less than 30 days within a period of five years before the date of the dissolution of Parliament or Legislative Assembly in force.

You must submit the Form 1B to the EC Headquarters through the following ways:
a) by email to; or
b) by fax to +603-8881 1201/1202/1187/1192, or
c) by post to the address;

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia Aras 4-5, Blok C7,
Kompleks C Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan 62690 Putrajaya
(Attn : Unit Pengurusan Undi Pos Luar Negara)

9. How much can a candidate spend on campaigning?

A parliamentary candidate can spend RM200,000 on campaigning. It is RM100,000 for those contesting for a state seat.

12. What happens after voting is over for the day?

The ballot box is taped shut, and the polling agent signs the tape. The box is then tied shut and sealed with red wax before being moved to a counting centre.

13. If I suspect a candidate of electoral wrongdoing or if someone tries to buy my vote, who can I report it to?

Report it straight to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. The EC just manages the election, it has no investigators or arresting powers. If people approach and try to bribe you for your vote, go to the MACC.

14. How will indelible ink be used in this General Election?

When you enter the polling station the polling agent will check your hands for ink before searching the list for your name and identity card. If he sees your hands are clean, he will provide you with a pad where you place a finger to mark it.

15. Can a candidate request for a recount of votes?

Yes. The EC will also do an automatic recount if the majority difference is less than 4%.