EC well prepared for any disasters

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 08 Oct 2019

Prepping for the polls: Mohamed Elias (left) inspecting SJKC Pei Chiao in Kukup, Pontian, in preparation for the by-election.

PONTIAN: The Election Commission is well prepared for any natural disasters such as floods that may hit during the Tanjung Piai by-election and is making sure it will not disturb the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

EC secretary Datuk Mohamed Elias Abu Bakar said Pontian district officer Zulkifly Mohd Tahir, who is also the Tanjung Piai by-election managing officer, had chaired a meeting involving various agencies to look into possible scenarios including inclement weather during the period.

“Besides providing voting accessibility on polling day, EC is also considering every possibility including on weather.

“These agencies are planning and mapping out actions that will be taken to monitor floods and public safety,” he told the media after visiting SJKC Pei Chiao at Kukup here yesterday.

The EC, said Mohamed Elias, has been notified of November being the monsoon season for the state.

He also stressed that the EC has given an assurance that the SPM examinations will not be disrupted by the by-election, pointing out that only three secondary schools around the Tanjung Piai constituency have been picked to become polling district centres.

“There are 28 polling centres for the by-election. Although 27 of them are schools, only three are secondary schools involved in the SPM exams.

“EC will only use classrooms for voting channels whereas school halls are where students will sit for the exams,” he added.

Mohamed Elias added that there will be no SPM examination on polling day, which falls on a Saturday (Johor practises Friday-Saturday weekend).

The three schools are SMK Dato Yunos Sulaiman, SMK Pekan Nanas and SMK Sri Kukup.

For this year, the SPM examinations will be held between Oct 14 and Nov 28 while polling for the by-election is set for Nov 16 and early voting on Nov 12.

When contacted, Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis said the department will take the necessary actions during the floods season, including placing its 1,250 officers and personnel on standby and getting ready assets such as boats, life jackets and ropes.

“We will monitor the meteorological reports closely.

“We do expect heavier rainfalls this time around due to the unusual weather patterns.”

He added that the department will also provide services such as ferrying voters to polling centres and helping EC to bring out ballot boxes in case of floods.

Meanwhile, in KUALA LUMPUR, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Barisan Nasional would triumph in the by-election based on a survey showing that support for Pakatan Harapan has declined to only 38%, and the fact that Barisan had only lost the parliamentary seat narrowly in a three-cornered fight in the GE14.

“If it is a straight fight, our chance of winning is higher, though it is still too early for us to draw a conclusion.

“But based on the research, it looks good for us, ” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Ismail Sabri was referring to the survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre, which was presented to Pakatan MPs at a retreat in Subang Jaya on Sunday.

The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant after Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik died of complications on Sept 21 following a heart attack.

Md Farid, 42, who was also Tanjung Piai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia division vice-chief, beat MCA’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng and PAS’ Nordin Othman with a majority of 524 votes.

Tanjung Piai was traditionally an MCA seat before it was seized by Bersatu in GE14.

The seat is made up of 57% Malays, 42% Chinese and one per cent Indians.

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