Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The voting is on!!!!!

From Malaysiakini :

Polling at Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai started at 8am this morning. Both Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Batang Ai (Sarawak) are state seats while Bukit Gantang is a parliamentary seat.

There are almost 100,000 eligible voters in the three constituencies. Voting ends at 5pm and results are expected after 10pm.

1.50pm Bukit Gantang The sun is up again and the traffic is also clearing up.

1.47pm Bukit Gantang Elections watchdog Mafrel reported that a bus suspected of carrying phantom voters has caused disturbance in Sek Keb Panglima Bkt Gantang polling centre. The police are trying to bring the situation under control."Our observers are on-site monitoring the situation," added Mafrel.

1.45pm Bukit Selambau Kedah EC chief Zainal Abidin Zakaria says that the voter turnout rate stood at 50 percent at 1pm. He expects the turnout to be higher than what was achieved during the last general election, which was 73.7 percent.

1.45pm Bukit Gantang Fatimah Osman, 74: "I always vote for Barisan Nasional, because it is the party that will ensure the future of my children and grandchildren. And I don't want the country to be in chaos.”Sahra Mat Noor, 61: "This government is full of corruption. Perak now has an illegal government," said opposition supporter. This will be a stiff competition, but God willing if there is no cheating, we will win."Beh Lin Huat, 55: "I voted for PAS, my four family members also voted for PAS, the opposition is strong here, we want a change."

1.26pm Bukit Gantang Changkat Jering state representative Mohd Osman Jailu complains that he was heckled by PAS supporters who called him a traitor and a ‘frog' when he went to cast his ballot at the SK Changkat Jering polling centre this morning.However he was not physically threatened. He also said that he was not jeered by PKR supporters.Mohd Osman defected from PKR to become an Independent in February along with two others. Their defections allowed BN to take control of the Perak government from Pakatan Rakyat.At the Taman Kaya religious school polling station, heavy rain is not preventing BN and Pakatan supporters from engaging in a verbal spat. There are about 50 BN supporters as opposed to PAS' 30.

1.25pm Batang Ai At the Sebangki polling district - where former Batang Ai representative, the late Dublin Unting, hailed from - 340 of the 479 registered voters (71 percent) had cast their ballot by 12.30pm. This polling station will close at 3pm.

1.01pm Bukit Selambau It is learnt that Kedah police chief Syed Ismail Syed Azizan is expected to call for a press conference in Sungai Petani soon on the 'phantom bus' incident.
1pm Bukit Gantang Traffic has come to a standstill, with main roads such as Jalan Changkat Jering and Jalan Simpang the worst affected. The latter is the main junction to Changkat Jering, Kuala Sepetang, Matang, Simpang and Taiping.The rain is also getting heavier, prompting fears that it could affect the turnout rate, especially for the voters who would have planned to come out to vote during the lunch hour.

12.57pm Bukit Gantang Reports are coming in stating that the police have fired teargas at the crowd at the SMK Pengkalan Aur polling centre in Air Kuning, Changkat Jering. However this could not be confirmed.When contacted, Taiping district police chief Raja Musa Razak said he had no information on the matter. However, voting is proceeding smoothly, except for a bad traffic jam in the constituency.

12.55pm Batang Ai Election watchdog Mafrel is worried that the turnout in Batang Ai may not beat the 69 percent figure in the parliamentary elections in March last year. While the parliamentary elections were held on a Saturday, voters in this by-election are required to cast their ballots on a weekday, a burden to self-employed farmers and fishermen who constitute the majority of Batang Ai’s 8,129 electorate. Mafrel’s Henry Gerijih says that, based on early morning voter turnout trends, he does not expected the figure to be more than 64 percent.
“Holding an election in these parts on a weekday is no way to garner a high turnout,” he says.

12.52pm Bukit Gantang It is raining in Bukit Gantang. Traffic is bad along all major roads.12.28pm Bukit Gantang Pakatan party workers are reporting good turnout in the Chinese areas of Kuala Sepetang and Kampung Baru Simpang.

12.18pm Batang Ai Blogger Lina Soo reports that Lemamank polling station was only opened at noon, due to earlier floods.

12.05pm Bukit Selambau Chief Inspector Mohammad Shofee Tayib from Kuala Muda district confirms that a bus suspected of carrying phantom voters was stopped by opposition supporters at Gurun, some 20km from Sungai Petani, about 10am. He says the bus is now at the Gurun police station.He adds that the police are not sure if the passengers are supporters or voters. The police are checking on their status now, using the electoral roll.

12.00 Bukit Gantang weather report - rain looks set to fall soon but as it stands, it is still sunny.

11.55am Bukit Selambau EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar says that the voter turnout rate at Bukit Selambau was 40 percent as at 11.50am and is expected reach 50 percent soon.
However, according to PKR's Pantai Jerejak assemblyperson Sim Tze Tzin, who is at Bukit Selambau, the number of young voters who have come out to vote so far is very small.He says that, as at 11am, the turnout rate for young people in all voting districts was only at about 20 percent.This low figure could be due to work commitment, he says, adding that the rate could rise later in the day.

11.46am Batang Ai Blogger Lina Soo reports that the EC has decided to transport ballot boxes from 14 of the 26 polling stations by river and helicopters to the counting centre. Polling agents are not allowed to accompany these ballot boxes.Mafrel said that this could encourage fraud, and that there is a possibility of ballot boxes going missing or being switched.

11.45am Batang Ai The weather remains sunny. At the Mepi polling station, which is part of the resettlement village near the Batang Ai dam, about 290 of 437 voters (66 percent) had cast their ballot by 11am. The polling station will close at 2pm.

11.36am Bukit Selambau The first report of alleged phantom voters has emerged. Blogger Haris Ibrahim reports that a bus was sighted at Bukit Lembu at 10.20am, carrying 29 occupants "who appear to be phantom voters".He says the bus was escorted by police cars all the way to the Gurun police station."The gate was closed but one PKR representative was allowed to go in. A small group gathered outside the police station," he has blogged.

11.28am Voter turnout According to EC, as at 10am, the turnout stood at 17.77 percent at Bukit Gantang, 21.92 percent at Bukit Selambau, and 32.41 percent at Batang Ai.11.26am Bukit Gantang Perak EC chief Ismail Yusof says everything is under control at Bukit Gantang, with no reports of physical violence. However, there is tension at Taman Kaya, Changkat Jering.
11.25am: Batang Ai At Sekarok polling station in Batang Ai dam resettlement area, 250 of 356 voters, or about 70 percent, had cast their votes by 11am. This polling station will close at 2pm.The whole resettlement area, which has more than 1,700 registered voters from 21 longhouses and represents the biggest group of voters in the constitutency, has traditionally been pro-opposition.

11.22am Bukit Selambau Mafrel reports that the FRU has been deployed at SM Aman Jaya after a stand off between BN and PKR.PKR campaigners were unhappy when BN tried to move one of its two tents closer to the polling centre. PKR has only one tent here.

11.15am Bukit Selambau Both BN and PKR are using sample ballot papers to show voters how to vote. This is being done as the Election Commission has reformated the ballot paper due to the big number of candidates.There are also about 40 BN campaigners here, most of them from Puteri Umno.Meanwhile, reports say that roads in Sungai Petani, especially in Sungai Lalang and Bukit Selambau old town, are badly congested.

11.11am Bukit Selambau Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil arrives at the SMK Taman Ria Jaya poling station at 11am and is greeted by BN supporters.Taman Ria Jaya polling district has the largest number of voters, at 5,122 voters.

11.10am Bukit Gantang Voter turnout at the SK Changkat Jering was only around 30 percent at 11am. Of 2,410 voters, only about 600 have voted so far.

11am Bukit Gantang Earlier, about 10am, PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin's vehicle was blocked and kicked by BN supporters at the SK Ayer Puteh polling station. Nizar had wanted to visit this Malay area but had to cancel his plan due to this disruption.The BN supporters' actions prompted PAS supporters to retaliate but timely intervention by the FRU stopped the tension from escalating.Nizar's visits to the polling centres, especially in Malay areas, are causing tension, with both sets of supporters exchanging insults.This has resulted in Nizar not staying too long at any of his stops.

10.39am Bukit Selambau Mafrel reports that an argument has erupted between PKR and BN supporters over the location of their tents outside the SJK (Tamil) Palanisamy Kumaran polling centre.The source of the complaint is that BN has been allocated a spot on a tar road while PKR has beem given place on a dirt road.Some PKR party members have entered the BN tent to argue with those inside. The police tried to stop them but to no avail.

Meanwhile, at Bukit Gantang, blogger Bernard Khoo reports that BN and Pakatan supporters were seen throwing chairs and water bottles at one another at the Pengkalan Au polling station. The riot police stepped in to calm the situation.

10.33am Bukit Gantang Blogger Bernard Khoo notes that there appear to be more women voters than men at the Pengkalan Au polling centre.He says there are several wheelchair-bound voters, and that PAS supporters are holding umbrellas over senior citizens.PAS and Umno supporters are mingling on same side of the road, which he sees as unusual. His observation is that PAS cheer groups seem more upbeat than their BN counterparts.

10.30am Batang Ai The weather is fine in Lubok Antu, the main town of Batang Ai. Voter turnout is brisk, according to a Malaysiakini correspondent. There are a total of 1,340 voters.
The Lubok Antu and Kutai polling stations will close at 5pm, the last of 26 to do so. Others with fewer voters are to close earlier. Menyang with 75 voters will be first to close at noon.

10.23am Bukit Selambau Elections watchdog Mafrel reports that there is no EC yellow-tape to mark the 50m restricted zone outside the SM Aman Jaya polling centre in Sungai Lalang.It adds that the police are asking observers to stay a distance from the school gate, where the two major parties have pitched tents. One independent candidate has also put up a tent, but further away.

10.18am Bukit Gantang PAS candidate Mohamad Nizar: "God willing, there is a good chance (for a win)."He spent some 15 minutes with his supporters at Sek Keb Changkat Jering polling centre.As he was walking to his car, BN supporters shouted Penderhaka (traitor). PAS supporters reacted by shouting Hancur Umno, Hidup Nizar.

10.15am Message from Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim"On April 7, Malaysians in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai will return once again to the polls to vote for change and for a brighter future for Malaysia.
"Vote if you can. If you are registered to vote in these elections but live outside the constituency, we ask you to make the effort to go home and vote."

10.10am Bukit Selambau Elections watchdog Mafrel reports that the unprecedented A3 size ballot paper is slowing down the voting process in SK Sg Lalang.The EC has reformatted the ballot paper for this by-election to accommodate 15 candidates.

10.01am Bukit Gantang PAS candidate Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin visits SK Changkat Jering polling centre. He is welcomed and mobbed by the PAS supporters and booed by the BN crowd.

10.01am Bukit Selambau Independent candidate T Chandrarajan, after voting: "The response for me is very good and many people have praised my manifesto."He says that being an independent candidate could affect his chances of winning, abut that he will continue to serve the people irrespective of the outcome.

9.59am Batang Ai The Menyang polling station will close at noon while the Lubok Antu station will close at 5pm. Election officials are confident of at least 70 percent voter turnout.There are 8,129 registered voters in Batang Ai, of whom 95 percent are Ibans living in 150 longhouses. There are 43 postal votes.

9.53am Bukit Selambau Independent candidate T Chandrarajan and wife M Suguna Devi vote at Sek Men Teknik Sungai Petani.Chandrarajan is the only independent candidate who is a registered voter in this constituency. A total of 13 independent candidates are vying for this seat along with PKR's Manikumar and BN's Ganesan.

9.45am Bukit Gantang Supporters from PAS and BN are exchanging insults at the Sek Keb Changkat Jering polling centre. About 300 PAS supporters are chanting Hancur Umno, Hancur BN to which the 100-odd BN supporters responded by shouting PAS munafik (PAS hypocrite).
PAS supporters are singing songs about Altantuya. Voters are streaming in to cast their ballots.

9.35am Bukit Gantang A PAS supporter was chased by two policemen after he was seen wearing an Altantuya mask at the SK Changkat Jering polling centre. The supporter got away.

9.28am Bukit Gantang BN's Ismail Saffian: "I am confident people will vote for BN and me."
Asked if defeat would mean people's lack of confidence in Najib, he said: "I leave it to the people". Earlier this morning, he had said his victory would be an endorsement to Najib as the new PM.
He also claimed that his opponents had been up to their dirty tactics again this morning by sending out fake SMSes claiming to be from him to voters, asking them not to vote for him.

9.25am Batang Ai Polling started at 8am in 26 polling stations across the sprawling constituency. With only 8,000 registered voters and no traffic jams, residents are taking their time to vote.In some far-flung polling stations, voting will close earlier to enable the ballot boxes to be flown by helicopter to the main counting centre in the border town of Lubok Antu.

9.20am Bukit Gantang Heavy traffic at the main junction in Taiping as voters and party workers get down to work. Police are monitoring traffic.

9.16am Bukit Gantang BN's Ismail Saffian said it has been a tough contest but that he is confident of winning by a thin majority of between 1,000 to 3,000 votes. He said his victory would be an endorsement of Najib Abdul Razak's premiership.""Based on my observation I have confidence that I can win, I have met the voters and the response is good.
"But it's going to be a tough fight. I'll leave it to the voters," he said, adding that he only slept at 3am after attending 10 ceramah sessions at the last minute and was up by 6am.Both sets of supporters meanwhile are still having a go at each other outside the SK Dato Panglima Gantang voting centre. PAS supporters are shouting Hancur BN to which the response from the other side is Hidup BN.

9.15am Weather report It is a fine morning in Bukit Selambau while the weather is also looking bright in Bukit Gantang after a slight drizzle. Heavy rain is expected in the afternoon in Bukit Gantang.

9.07am Bukit Gantang The Larut Matang and Selama Hired Car and Taxi Drivers Cooperative is providing free service to ferry voters to polling centres.Chairperson Ismail Mat Isa said 25 taxi drivers started picking up voters from 7am until polling stations close at 5pm."It is our social responsibility to help the government by increasing the voter turnout," he said, adding that the free taxi service is also in support of BN's Ismail Saffian.

9am Bukit Selambau PKR's Manikumar, who is visiting the various polling centres, arrives at Ladang Perbadanan Kedah Tamil school where his opponent Ganesan is still waiting after having cast his ballot. They exchanged pleasantries.The by-election here has created history with the number of candidates contesting the state seat - 15 in all, with 13 independents.

8.59am Bukit Gantang BN's Ismail Saffian arrives at the SK Dato Panglima Gantang voting centre and proceeds to cast his vote.

8.47am Bukit Gantang Taiping police chief Raja Musa tells reporters that the Light Strike Force units have been sent to all polling centres to maintain order and ensure security. Traffic outside the SK Dato Panglima Gantang voting centre is almost at a standstill with motorists slowing down to see the two sets of supporters in action.BN's Ismail has yet to arrive to cast his vote.

8.42am Bukit Selambau BN/MIC's Ganesan, after voting: "I am relaxed. Now it is up to the voters. Tonight I will sleep well. I leave it to the voters and god now. I am a familiar face to them. We want to win to serve the people and not for glory."

8.40am Bukit Selambau PKR's Manikumar (photo), after voting: "Today is a historic day. I am confident of winning this seat, maybe with even a majority of more than 2,000. There is a huge support for me here."

8.37am Bukit Gantang BN/Umno supporters have started retaliating against the noise by the PAS supporters at the SK Dato Panglima Gantang voting centre in Changkat Jering.The police Light Strike Force unit is on standby and have formed a line outside the polling centre to separate the opposing supporters.

8.35am Bukit Gantang Of the three candidates vying for this parliamentary seat, only BN's Ismail will be voting today.PAS' Mohamad Nizar is a registered voter in Pasir Panjang state constituency where he is the assemblyperson while independent candidate Kamarul is not registered as a voter.There are 55,562 voters, including 136 postal voters, in the constituency.The Election Commission will open 32 polling stations with 111 voting streams.

8.30am Bukit Gantang A crowd of about 100 are at the SK Dato Panglima Gantang polling centre. This is where BN's Ismail Saffian will be voting. The crowd is divided equally between Umno and PAS supporters. They are all waving their respective party flags and posters in support of their candidates.PAS supporters are shouting Allahuakbar and singing religious songs.This by-election is a three-way fight between Ismail, PAS' Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and Independent Kamarul Ramizu Idris.8.24am Bukit Selambau BN's Ganesan and his wife R Vatsala have cast their votes.

8.18am Bukit Selambau PKR's candidate S Manikumar voted at SMK Taman Ria Jaya.8.15am Bukit Gantang Voters are queuing to vote at SK Dato Panglima Gantang. BN candidate Ismail Saffian is expected to cast his vote here soon.8.07am: Bukit Selambau BN/MIC candidate S Ganesan arrives at Ladang Perbadanan Kedah Tamil school to cast his vote. About 30 police personnel are stationed here.

1 comment:

  1. Mr Geronimo,
    check this out: