KOTA KINABALU: Sabah voters were up early to cast their ballots statewide, the second time in 28 months.
Unlike during the May general election two years ago, voters had to go through temperature and health checks before they were allowed to vote.
Political leaders such as Sabah MCA chief Lu Yen Tung, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal were among the early voters in their respective areas.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin cast his vote at SRS Datuk Simon Fung, situated in the Darau state seat, at about 1.45pm while former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman voted in SK Sg Manila around noon.
Despite the additional measures put in place, there were no complaints from the people, especially with the number of Covid-19 cases going up in the state.
Most of the voters complied with the standard operating procedure (SOP) by wearing face masks and sanitising their hands before entering.
Tee On Ben, who cast his ballot at Tadika Peak Nam Toong in Luyang, praised officials for ensuring the Covid-19 SOP was followed.
“I’m surprised. The facilities are very good. I don’t have to queue for long,” the 83-year-old said, adding that he was allotted the 10am-to-12pm slot.
At SRS Datuk Simon Fung, officials took extra precautions by asking the voters whether they had been to any of the hotspots such as Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu and Kunak before allowing them into the compound.
A tent manned by four healthcare workers were set up within the premises to isolate anyone showing Covid-19 symptoms.
“We will first screen voters with symptoms such as fever or cough.
“If they are considered high-risk and believed to have been in close contact with Covid-19 patients, they would have to cast their votes here before undergoing further tests,” said Dr Harriet Ray Awah, one of the health workers manning the facility.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, many voters had no qualms coming out to vote for their representatives to administer the state.
Accountant Mohan Singh, who arrived before the polling station opened at 7.30am, said those who did not show up to exercise their right should not complain.
Salesgirl Angelina Wong, 26, cast her vote early before going to work.
“I hope a political crisis doesn’t happen after this. It is very tiring to see all this drama,” she said.
Sisters Jolvyn and Louise Chong shared the same sentiment, saying they could not bear another political tussle.
“The people have had enough of this politicking.
“But we have decided to come out to vote today because we are also doing this for the good of the state and the next generation,” said Jolvyn.
Did you find this article insightful?