Keep your distance from polling centres, warns EC

Supporters campaigning during the Port Dickson by-election.

PORT DICKSON: Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun had to step in and tell supporters of the Port Dickson by-election to stay at least 50 metres away from the SK Chuah polling centre.

He said supporters should stop campaigning “too near” to polling stations.

“I really hope such activities will stop.”

He also requested parties to stop carrying party emblems or flags in front of the polling centre so that there would be no allegations they were breaching the law.

Azhar also confirmed there had been complaints that this was happening at two to three other polling stations as well and enforcement officers had taken action.

Bernama had earlier reported that supporters of two political parties were still campaigning at the entrance of the SK Teluk Kemang polling centre.

Met at the SK Chuah polling centre, Azhar was unsure whether the turnout would reach 70% as anticipated. At 1pm, voter turnout was at 40%.

“The weather is good and we hope the voters will come out later.”

The Port Dickson by-election was called after incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim’s return to Parliament.

Anwar faces six other contenders.

In the 14th general election on May 9, Danyal, a former senior officer of the Royal Malaysian Navy, won by a majority of 17,710 votes to defeat VS Mogan of Barisan Nasional and Mahfuz Roslan of PAS.

Anwar, commenting on the low voter turnout, said one of the reasons could be that many were working today.

He said workers in hotels and factories only finish work at 2pm.

Anwar said election workers had already gone to the villages to ask voters to come out and vote.

It was reported earlier that Anwar was worried that out-station voters will not be able to return home to cast their votes.