Travelling the distance to cast their votes

Exercising his right: An Election Commission staff helping Mohamad Zulhilmi to cast his vote at SK Merbau Pulas for the Padang Serai parliamentary election in Kuala Ketil, Kedah. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

ALOR SETAR: A first-time voter had to bear the inconvenience of a broken leg but was undaunted as he cast his first election ballot.

Mohammad Zulhilmi Ismail, 21, said he was eager to cast his vote for the Padang Serai parliamentary election despite having to move around with a broken left leg from an accident two months ago.

The factory worker came with his older brother Mohammad Aiman Hakimi Ismail, 22, who is also a first-time voter, and both of them were accompanied by their parents at the SK Merbau Pulas polling centre.

“When the polling date was postponed, we felt a bit disappointed,” said Mohammad Zulhilmi.

“However, when the new date was announced, I told my brother that we must fulfil our obligation.”

Their parents Ismail Hashim, 49, and Sapura Mohd Said, 50, said they were proud that their young sons were aware of their right and duty to vote.

“We are happy to see our sons voting for the first time. I always tell them that voting is important for their future, and I am relieved that they know what to do,” said Ismail.

Both Ismail and Sapura have been Padang Serai voters for more than 25 years.

A 20-year-old student was willing to travel all the way from his university in Johor to Kedah just so that he could exercise his voting rights at his hometown in Padang Serai.

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia student Muhammad Akmal Danial Shariff said he took leave from the institution so that he could cast his vote yesterday.

“I feel satisfied I was able to exercise my constitutional right.

“I will be making my trip back to the university on Sunday as I can participate in my online learning classes on Thursday and Friday,” he said when met at the SK Bukit Selarong polling centre yesterday.

Senior citizen Rahmah Saad, 78, could not hide her excitement after casting her vote.

“I could not sleep at night because I felt excited to vote for my candidate.

“I hope my vote can help him become the next Padang Serai MP,” said Rahmah, who was among the early birds who arrived at the polling centre by 8am.

Rahmah, who was using a cane to help her walk, came with her granddaughter Nuraishah Musa, 42.

Factory worker Nadia Kamaruddin, 26, said she took a day’s leave so that she would be able to cast her ballot yesterday.

Kedah police chief Comm Datuk Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said so far there was no sabotage element such as the burning of political flags or posters.

“No arrest has been made either,” he told a press conference at the Lunas police station.

Comm Wan Hassan said a total of 1,217 police personnel from various divisions had been stationed in Padang Serai since nomination day on Nov 24.

He said a total of nine police reports had been lodged during the GE15 period at the Padang Serai parliamentary seat.

“Three investigation papers were opened under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said.

“The investigation papers will be completed and forwarded to the state prosecution office soon.”

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GE15 , Padang Serai


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