PUTRAJAYA: Polling day for the Bagan Pinang by-election is set for Oct 11 while nomination is on Oct 3, the Election Commission announced.
Its chairman Tan Sri Aziz Yusoff said this time around, both nomination and polling day would be on a weekend following “feedback” which the Commission had received.
(Nomination day for the Bagan Pinang by-election is on Oct 3, which is a Saturday, while polling, to be held nine days later falls on Sunday, Oct 11).
“We did not decide to set polling day on a weekend because the seat to Barisan Nasional and we need to ensure better voters turn out. We have had several by-elections held on a weekday and voters turn out was good.
“Take Manek Urai for instance. It was held on a weekday and 88% voters went to cast their votes,” he told a press conference to announce the polling and nomination dates fo the Bagan Pinang by-election Monday.
This will be the ninth by-election after the March 8 general-election in 2008.The Bagan Pinang state seat in Negri Sembilan fell vacant following the death of its assemblyman Azman Mohammad Noor of Barisan who died on Sept 4.
According to the EC records as of Sept 4, the Bagan Pinang constituency has 13,664 registered voters, including 4,604 voters, compring 8,577 Malay voters (62.77%), 2,834 Indians (20.74%), 1,498 Chinese (10.96%) and 755 others (5.54%).
Interestingly, those between the ages of 21 and 39 made up 50.39% of the voters and there are nine registered voters who are more than 100 years old - the oldest being 104.
Aziz also said that he would be calling representatives of political parties at the end of the month to “remind the parties again on the don’ts during elections”.
“We have repeatedly reminded political parties and its members and supporters of the things that they are prohibited to do during campaigning and more importantly, during the polling day but there are still those who fail to heed to the regulation.
“We have yet to take any action because we allow a time for the parties to go through ‘education period’ but don’t be surprised when and if we take action because sufficient reminders and warnings have been issued,” he said.
The “don’ts”, include no campaigning after midnight on the eve of polling day until the election result is announced, no booth to canvass for last minute votes or have flags or banners representing parties or candidates near polling stations.
Aziz also dismissed claims that postal votes could be tampered with to help Barisan win an election, adding that agents of candidates could be present when the votes were cast and when they were sealed by the election officials.
“There is no way the postal votes could be added into the bag because if the bags’ seal is broken, it will be obvious and the seal has signatures of the agents.
“How in the world can we can get the agents to re-sign without any one of them raising the alarm.
“Be rest assured that elements of cheating cannot be done as far as an election is concerned,” he said when commenting on claims Barisan had won the seat due to postal votes in the last election.
In the March 2008 general election Ramli Ismail of PAS lost to Azman by 2,333 vote-majority.
Azman polled 6,430 votes while Ramli secured 4,097.
Of the 4,800 postal votes, 3080 went to Barisan while 1,189 to PAS. The remaining were either spoilt or the ballot papers were not returned.
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