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Monday May 6, 2013

Teary encounter with old friend

WHEELCHAIR-BOUND Abd Rashid Md Isa, 81, had cast his votes and was heading home but quickly turned back to the polling centre when he saw Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas heading for the centre.

Abd Rashid’s three grandsons, who had wheeled him to the centre 300m away from their house in Kampung Permatang Rambai, then waited patiently outside Al-Madrasatul Ibtidaiyah religious school in Permatang Rambai, Penaga, yesterday for Abd Rashid’s old friend.

After Abdul Rahman and his consort Toh Puan Majimor Shariff finished casting their votes at about 10.36am, the former went out and gave Abd Rashid a pat on the back.

“This is my brother. This is my brother,” said Abdul Rahman with a wide smile.

Abd Rashid could not hold back his emotions and broke into tears of happiness at meeting his childhood buddy there.

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah cast their votes at the SK Permatang Bertam at 8.30am.

Wearing a blue shirt with black pants, Abdullah shared some light moments with the voters before entering the polling centre.

Permatang Pauh incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Barisan Nasional opponent Dr Mazlan Ismail cast their votes at SK Penanti and SMK Sama Gagah respectively.

Dr Mazlan arrived with his wife Fadhilah Abdullah at 8.23am while Anwar and his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrived at 8.40am.

Penang Barisan chairman Teng Chang Yeow cast his votes at SK St Xavier Branch in Pulau Tikus.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng arrived at SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian at around 8.15am, with his wife Betty Chew and mother Neo Yok Tee, 73.

Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon arrived about 8am at SK Tanjong Bunga to cast his votes, at the same time as Barisan’s candidate Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye, who was contesting in Dr Koh’s former seat, Tanjong Bunga.

Dr Koh said he was more relaxed this time around as he was not contesting.

Asked about his plans, he said it all depended on the outcome of the general election.

Barisan Nasional candidate for the Jawi state seat, Tan Cheng Liang, arrived with her pastor husband Ong Tiong Keat, 52, at SJKC Pai Teik in Jawi, Nibong Tebal, at 9.35am to cast their votes.

Barisan’s Bagan candidate David Chua Teik Siang cast his votes at SJK(C) Chung Hwa 2.

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh arrived at Penang Free School at 9am to cast his votes, accompanied by his wife Gurmit Kaur, son Ramkarpal Singh, 37, and daughter Sangeet Kaur, 33.

At SMJK Jit Sin in Jalan Binjai, Bukit Mertajam, Barisan Nasional’s Padang Lalang candidate Tan Teik Cheng arrived at about 8.20am to cast his votes. DAP’s Padang Lalang candidate Chong Eng also voted at the same centre.

At 8.30am, DAP’s Bukit Mertajam candidate Sim Chee Keong arrived, while his Barisan opponent Gui Guat Lye went to the Bukit Mertajam High School to cast his votes at 10.56am.

Over at Jit Sin Independent High School in Jalan Aston, Barisan’s candidate for the Berapit state seat Lau Chiek Tuan cast his votes at about 10.40am.

At SJK(C) Min Sin, Barisan candidate for the Batu Uban state seat Goh Kheng Sneah brought his mother Teh Bee Ern, 77, to vote.

“I have done my very best, so now it is up to the voters,” said Goh, adding that he would accept and respect the final outcome.

Sungai Puyu incumbent Phee Boon Poh voted at SJK(C) Chung Hwa, while his Barisan opponent Sum Yoo Keong voted at SK Bagan Jaya.

Bagan Dalam incumbent A. Tanasekharan cast his vote at SMK Raja Tun Uda in Bayan Baru while his opponent M. Karuppanan voted at SMK Phor Tay in George Town.

Tasek Gelugor independent candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar and his wife Datin Seri Barinah Mohd Nor cast their votes at SMK Pokok Sena at about 9.45am.

At SJK(C) Chung Hwa 3 in Taman Senangin, Perai, Parti Cinta Malaysia’s (PCM) Batu Kawan parliamentary seat candidate Huan Cheng Guan cast his vote at 9.15am.

Later, at about 10.50am, DAP’s incumbent Perai candidate Dr P. Ramasamy and his wife K. Kalaiarasi also dropped their ballot papers into the ballot boxes at the same polling centre.

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