KUALA LUMPUR: The lack of a special queue for senior citizens and issues faced by non-IT savvy members led to a commotion in several divisions during the PKR polls in the Federal Territories today.
A check at the Lembah Pantai and Wangsa Maju divisions found that the entrances to the voting halls were crowded and members, including senior citizens, had to queue for up to an hour before being able to vote.
Some candidates have suggested that the Central Election Committee (JPP) allocate a special queue for senior citizens and deploy assistants to help voters who are not familiar with the electronic voting system.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said he had reported the matter to the JPP secretariat for consideration.
“I saw this problem happening in this division where senior citizens had to wait a long time to get their turn to vote, and this will definitely be happening in other divisions throughout the country,” he said at the polling centre for the Lembah Pantai division at the Eco-Park Community Centre here.
Fahmi, who is also Lembah Pantai division chief and a member of the Central Leadership Council (MPP) said, however, members of the division who faced difficulty in voting as they were not IT-savvy were allowed to bring along an escort to assist them after the matter was agreed upon by JPP officials at the centre.
About 6,000 PKR members are eligible to vote in the Lembah Pantai division, and about 30% of them are senior citizens.
Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul who is a vice-presidential candidate also endured a similar problem and said he was forced to double-up as a facilitator at the entrance of the hall when he went to campaign at the Wangsa Maju division.
“The JPP needs to consider letting those who are not IT-savvy to bring an escort to help them carry out their responsibility. Although supervisors are in charge of assisting these members, their numbers are limited, and voters have to wait a long time before they are assisted.
“This is also to avoid accusations that JPP volunteers were voting on behalf of this group,” he said.
The Wangsa Maju division has about 5,000 members who are eligible to vote.
It was a different matter altogether at the Setiawangsa polling centre where a commotion was said to have occurred when a brochure showing Johari’s face was sabotaged by unknown parties who placed a sticker showing the number of another candidate, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, to confuse party members.
Setiawangsa branch youth chief candidate Khairul Khairi Ismail said the dirty tactic by irresponsible parties was detected early on, and an inspection was conducted as soon as the voters entered the polling centre.
“We were able to ‘detect’ it early on, when they were queueing, we checked that many people who got the flyers had the sticker so we told them to open (the brochures). Those who tried to cause this provocation have been expelled,” he said.
The PKR leadership election process in the Federal Territories which began today involved 34,892 members from 13 party branches.