Smooth start to polling

Healthy competition: Barisan Nasional and Pas supporters showing the friendship spirit despite campaigning for their respective party outside the polling centre in Sekolah Agama Rakyat LKTP Felda Kerayong 5, Muadzam Shah.

ROMPIN: Polling proceeded smoothly in Rompin as many voters got up early to cast their votes.

A total of 52,744 voters were eligible to vote yesterday after all the 38 polling centres opened at 8am.

Earlier on April 30, 464 out of 545 early voters had exercised their rights.

The bright and sunny weather, aided by the declaration of a state holiday, saw a good voter turnout.

As of 1pm, 33,402 voters or 62.67% have already voted.

Some arrived in a wheelchair like Che Tom Idris, 69, from Penempatan Rompin Utama Tebu Hitam.

She was assisted by an Election Commission personnel to enter the polling centre in SK Leban Chondong.

“I will not give up my chance to vote. This is my right and no one can take it away,” she said before being whisked into the polling station.

Outside the polling centre, supporters from both Barisan Nasional and PAS waved party flags and posters to attract attention.

Some motorists honked to give support while others drove away without paying much attention.

This by-election saw a straight fight between Barisan’s Datuk Hasan Arifin and Nazri Ahmad of PAS.

Hasan and his wife Datin Rozidah Karim arrived at SK Leban Chondong at about 8.25am to cast their votes.

They were accompanied by two of their children, who were amused with the antics of pressmen who swarmed all over them.

Meanwhile, Nazri and his wife Rusmariza Yusof, voted at 8.05am in Sekolah Agama Rakyat LKTP Keratong 5.

The seat fell vacant after Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis was killed in a helicopter crash along with five others on April 4 near Semenyih.

In the 13th general election, Dr Jamaluddin retained the seat by beating former Wanita PAS chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh with a majority of 15,114 votes.

The by-election is the ninth to be called since the elections in May 2013.

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