July 12, 2024

The 2024 Election Overseas Prone to Fraud

The Indonesian Association for Sovereign Migrant Workers (Perhimpunan Indonesia untuk Buruh Migran Berdaulat or Migrant Care) assesses that the implementation of the 2024 Elections overseas is prone to fraud. Based on monitoring in four countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Migrant Care identified several issues including non-representative electoral districts marginalized migrant worker data collection, and a chaotic election schedule.

“In those four countries, they all complained about the same issues, related to the distribution of ballots and the implementation of the 2024 Elections coinciding with the Chinese New Year,” said the Knowledge, Data, and Publication Management Staff of Migrant Care, Trisna Dwi Yuni Aresta, in a press conference on the Initial Findings of the Monitoring of the 2024 Elections Overseas, South Jakarta, (1/18).”

Trisna believes that the General Election Commission (KPU) is neglecting overseas voters, potentially depriving Indonesian citizens (WNI) and migrant workers of their political rights. This is evident in the decrease in the number of voters in the Permanent Voter List (DPT) overseas from 2.08 million people in the 2019 Elections to 1.75 million people in the 2024 Elections.”

“That figure is too small compared to the population of Indonesian citizens who are working, studying, and residing abroad,” said Trisna.

Meanwhile, according to the Executive Director of Migrant Care, Wahyu Susilo, voters overseas should have their own electoral districts (dapil) because the aspirations of migrant workers are different from those in South Jakarta and Central Jakarta. He mentioned that so far, elected candidates have not represented the interests and aspirations of migrant workers.

“The number of Indonesian citizens abroad is very large, including migrant workers. However, the concerns and interests of migrant workers are never voiced by the elected representatives from that electoral district (DKI Jakarta II),” explained Wahyu.

In addition, Wahyu assesses that the change in the voting method in several countries, which is no longer dominated by direct voting at polling stations (TPS) but relies more on sending ballots by mail, is considered highly vulnerable to fraud and misuse of ballots. Moreover, many overseas workers receive more than one ballot.

“In addition to the potential for fraud because it cannot be directly monitored, Indonesian citizens are also becoming less enthusiastic about voting because the space for interacting with fellow citizens is lost,” he added.

This is confirmed by a member of The Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU) in Hong Kong, Sringatin. According to her, the implementation of elections in Hong Kong lacks transparency, making the socialization to Indonesian citizens (WNI) in Hong Kong ineffective and not encouraging voters to exercise their rights. Sringatin stated that information related to the 2024 Elections is not engaging enough for Indonesia Citizens in Hong Kong. With the dominance of postal voting and mobile ballot boxes, she mentioned that Indonesia Citizens in Hong Kong would be reluctant to exercise their voting rights, as voting at the polling stations is one of the venues for Indonesian citizens to gather and strengthen bonds.

“The decision to hold the voting on February 13th did not involve Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI), and on that day, it is still part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Therefore, the likelihood of voter turnout will decrease,” explained Sringatin.

Translated by Catherine Natalia