Polling closes in Chini by-election at 5.30pm, turnout at 72% as of 4pm


PEKAN (Bernama): Polling has closed at 5.30 pm in the Chini state by-election, the first by-election since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier at 4pm, the Election Commission (EC) announced that 72% of the 20,816 voters in the Chini state by-election have cast their ballots.

This turnout has now exceeded the EC's target of 70%.

The voting process in 13 voting centres involving 65 channels began at 8am on Saturday (July 4) and the voting centres are Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Mambang, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Paloh Hinai, SK Kinchir, Dewan Mempelas Kampung Baru PPSK Salong, SK LKTP Chini Timur 1, SMK Chini Timur, Balai Raya Kampung Dusun, SK LKTP Chini Timur 2, SK LKTP Chini 3 and 5, SK LKTP Chini 1 and 4, Kelas Al-Quran and Fardu Ain (KAFA) Felda Chini 3, Sekolah Agama Rakyat (KAFA) Nur Ilham Felda Chini 1 and SMK Chini 2.

The Chini state by-election is a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional's (BN), Mohd Sharim Md Zain, 41, who is a Felda Chini second-generation settler, and two independent candidates, businessman Tengku Datuk Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin, 64, and blogger Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli, 49.

The by-election was held following the death of incumbent Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun, 60, at Kuala Lumpur Hospital due to a heart attack on May 7. Abu Bakar was Chini state assemblyman since the 11th General Election in 2004.

The Chini by-election is the 11th by-election after the 14th general election (GE14) and the first for the Perikatan Nasional government after taking over the country's administration from Pakatan Harapan in March.

The by-election is making history as the first election that takes place in the ‘new normal’ and involves various restrictions to avoid creating a ‘by-election cluster’.

Many new rules have to be followed, among them practising social distancing, the requirement for face masks to be worn, frequent hand-washing as well as temperature checks.

In GE14, Abu Bakar retained the Chini state seat with a majority of 4,622 votes, after securing 10,027 votes against PAS candidate Mohd Fadhil Noor Abdul Karim, who obtained 5,405 votes and PKR's Mohamad Razali Ithnain, with 1,065 votes. - Bernama

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