Voting begins in PD by-election

PORT DICKSON: Polling opened at 8am today for the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election where PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim is seeking a mandate to become an MP of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.

All the 32 polling stations, mainly at schools and community halls, will remain open from 8am to 5.30pm to enable the 68,317 registered direct voters to cast their ballots.

The votes, counted at the respective polling stations at the end of polling, will be tallied at the Port Dickson Municipal Council hall here.

The Election Commission (EC) expects a 70% voter turnout in the by-election, the result of which is expected to be announced by 10pm.

Anwar faces a challenge for the seat from six other candidates, namely Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar of PAS and five independents – former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohd Isa Abdul Samad; Anwar’s former personal aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan; social media personality Stevie Chan Ken Leong; management consultant Kan Chee Yuen and a former lecturer at a private university, Lau Seck Yan, the only female candidate.

Mohd Isa, being a local, is the only candidate who will vote today in the constituency. He is expected to do so at Sekolah Kebangsaan Linggi.

The Port Dickson parliamentary constituency has 75,770 registered voters, including early voters, and comprises Malays (43%), Chinese (33%), Indians (22%) and other races (2%).

The by-election is being held after incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, 68, of PKR vacated his seat on Sept 12 to allow Anwar, who recently won the PKR presidency, to contest and return to Parliament.

In the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9, Danyal, a former senior officer of the Royal Malaysian Navy, won by a majority of 17,710 votes to defeat V S Mogan of Barisan Nasional and Mahfuz Roslan of PAS.

The Port Dickson parliamentary constituency, which has been a PKR stronghold since 2008, has five state constituencies within it. They are Chuah and Lukut (now held by the DAP), Pinang and Linggi (BN) and Sri Tanjung (PKR).

This is the fourth by-election after GE14. The other three were in the state constituencies of Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong, all in Selangor.