‘Slim may witness a lower turnout’


BN candidate’s Mohd Zaidi Aziz.

TANJUNG MALIM: Candidates in the Slim by-election say they may see a lower voter turnout in the Slim by-election compared to GE14 due to the recovery movement control order (MCO) period.

Barisan Nasional candidate Mohd Zaidi Aziz said he expected about 14,000 to 15,000 voters to vote in the by-election, which is about 75% to 80% of the 19,000 voter turnout during GE14 due to the MCO.

“Some voters are working overseas and it is difficult for them to return home to vote.“We’ve managed to get in touch with those who are working outstation or living in Klang Valley, Ipoh and Penang, and are urging them to come home to vote, ” he said, adding that some outstation voters were also looking forward to returning home to spend time with their family here.Mohd Aziz said he was confident of getting a majority of between 12,000 and 14,000 votes, as Barisan had support from PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia this time.

With all campaigning activities required to end by midnight tomorrow, candidates have been racing against time to meet as many voters as possible ahead of Saturday’s polling day.

For the final leg, Mohd Zaidi said he will be seeing as many voters as possible – at the warung, market or restaurant. “This method of engagement has proven effective, ” he said.

Independent candidate Amir Kusyairi Mohd Tanusi, who declined to predict the number of the voter turnout, said he would work hard to engage with constituents.

He said his team posted on Facebook and Twitter about the by-election to voters, especially to those staying outside the constituency.

“We also make phone calls to reach out to them. We have made contacts with at least half of the total voters, ” he said, adding that many agreed to come back and vote.

“Initially, they hesitated. But when I told them that it will be a long weekend and they can visit their parents, some changed their minds.

“Our main concern is elderly voters who are unsure about having to queue up to cast their votes. We assured them that the Election Commission has standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of voters during the recovery MCO, ” he said.

Another independent candidate Dr S. Santharasekaran said he expected a turnout of between 15,000 and 17,000 voters.

“Choose the best leader for your community, ” he added.

Tanjong Malim MCA division chief Goh Choong Seng said according to the electoral roll, the Chinese make up about 10% of the total voters, or 2,413 people.

He said 35% of them were below the age of 40 and most of them are working and living outstation and overseas.

“Many who are overseas are facing difficulties in applying for leave to come home. Even if they do, they have to spend money to undergo Covid-19 tests and home quarantine.

“We expect a much lower voter turnout as many parents told us that their children who are away are not coming back, ” he said.

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