Long queues and poor arrangements greet early Thai voters in KL


A long queue of waiting voters spilled out of the Thai embassy compound in Kuala Lumpur during yesterday’s early voting.

Over 4,000 Thai nationals working in Malaysia turned up at the Thai embassy in KL yesterday to cast their ballots.

The actual Thai election day is on March 24 but foreign embassies provide opportunities for Thai expats to cast their vote around the world in the weeks before (inter-province voters can also vote early if registered to do so).

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One of the voters caught in yesterday’s long queues was Sunpet Boonraeng who works as a cook in KL. He said he had waited for about six hours to cast his ballot, adding that he was afraid voters who live and work outside the Malaysian capital might not be able to wait that long. He said some of the elderly voters fainted in the queue because of the hot weather and rain.

Sunpet said he felt the embassy’s publicity about early voting was not good enough as many only heard about it through word of mouth. Another voter complained about the poor handling of the voting by the Thai embassy in KL, saying that he had been queuing for over four hours. He suggested that more polling booths should be set up to accommodate the huge turnout. Yet another voter complained that he turned up in front of the embassy at 9 am and, by noon, he was still queuing outside the embassy compound.

The Thai embassy said they would remain open late at night until the last voter has cast their ballot. Also, the embassy re-opened the polling doors at 8 am today for more voting.

Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvidh Phumma said he had been informed of the problem at the Thai embassy in KL, adding that the embassy would increase the polling booths from 3 to 4 to accommodate the overwhelming number of voters.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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