Abide by the rules, EC reminds candidates

SANDAKAN: Although there have been no major offences recorded during the Sandakan by-­election campaign so far, the Election Com­mis­sion (EC) has reminded all candidates and their workers to stick to the rules in the final days before polling on Saturday.

EC secretary Datuk Mohamed Elias Abu Bakar also urged the public or election obser­vers to report any wrongdoing to the police by including detailed information about them in order for a thorough investigation to be conducted.

“So far there have been no major offences, though there were some rules not being followed, but these are being monitored by us and the police,” he said yesterday.

Elias cited cases including holding ceramah without a permit and one involving the poster of a candidate whose face was covered with another.

Doing their duty: Police Marine Kpl Siti Hadiah Maria with her colleagues after voting in the Sandakan by-election at the Police Marine Base.

He was speaking to reporters after checking on the early voting process for policemen at the Sandakan police headquarters’ clubhouse, one of the two polling centres.

The other was at the marine police senior officers’ mess.

The EC had earlier announced that 270 policemen were eligible for early voting. A 75% voter turnout was recorded yesterday.

Besides election observers, the by-election candidates were also seen visiting the polling centre, namely independent candidates Hamzah Abdul­lah and Chia Siew Yung, DAP’s Vivian Wong and Parti Bersatu Sabah’s Datuk Linda Tsen.

The parliamentary constituency has 40,131 eligible voters comprising 51% Chinese, 45% Muslim bumiputra and the rest mostly Kadazan­dusun.

Political observers are expecting a voter turnout of around 60% on polling day, citing political fatigue and disinterest.

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