PH, BN candidates are ‘cocky’ for disregarding rules, says 10-sen man

Nearly 70% of the voters had turned out to cast their ballot when polling stations closed at 5.30pm.

SEMENYIH: The PSM and independent candidates in the by-election race here have slammed their Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional counterparts for allegedly committing election offences today.

Independent candidate Kuan Chee Hong said this showed the two candidates were being “cocky” while PSM’s Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul said the “basic thing” to note was — “no campaigning on polling day”.

This comes after electoral reforms group Bersih 2.0 slammed PPBM’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali and Umno’s Zakaria Hanafi for publicly requesting voters to vote for them and their respective parties.

FMT quoted Aiman as saying voters should vote for PH and himself, while Zakaria told voters to vote for BN and for an “orang kampung” like him. These calls came after they had cast their votes earlier this morning.

Independent candidate Kuan Chee Hong.

Speaking to FMT, Kuan, who is better known as the “10-sen man” or “Uncle Kentang”, said this was clearly a case of vote canvassing.

“The campaign period ended at midnight and they are still campaigning. I don’t know what the problem is with them.

“They’re being cocky and have shown that they can disregard the rules,” the philanthropist said.

“Let the SPR (Election Commission) investigate. They may get disqualified for this, we do not know.

“I think PSM has made similar complaints. So, this is something the SPR must look into now.”

Asked if he expected more votes for him and not for the BN or PH candidate because of this, Kuan said he had accepted his fate.

“I know I’m not going to win this election. But I’ve won more hearts (than the other candidates),” he said with a laugh.

Earlier today, Kuan said he expected less than 500 votes for him and to lose his deposit.

“I will be beaten to a pulp in this Semenyih by election… But at least I dared and tried,” he said on Facebook this morning and also thanked his well-wishers and supporters.

A candidate’s RM5,000 deposit paid to the EC to contest in a state seat will be forfeited if they fail to obtain one-eighth of the total votes cast in the election.

PSM candidate Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul.

Nik Aziz, on the other hand, a traditional massage business owner and PSM activist, said he was surprised that the BN candidate had also allegedly contravened the Elections Offences Act 1954.

“We find all this weird. This was not supposed to happen,” he told FMT this afternoon.

“When candidates don’t follow the rules, then their supporters also won’t,” he said, citing PSM’s complaints today of alleged vote canvassing and the use of “pondok panas” (voter assistance booths).

“All the places we went to today, we saw the same thing. We hope EC does its work and takes action.”

But Nik Aziz did not comment when asked why he thought this had happened, other than saying this is a “basic thing to know”.

He instead saw this as a way for PSM to win with a better margin or even win the Semenyih state seat.

“We were scared of a low turnout but it’s so high now. We hope this will help us.”

The Semenyih constituency has 53,520 voters. Polling came to a close at 5.30pm. Voter turnout at 4pm was at 68%.

A few of the voters in the Semenyih by-election.

Results will be announced later tonight at the Dewan Seri Cempaka in Kajang, which serves as the vote tallying centre.

The by-election was triggered by the death of incumbent assemblyman Bakthiar Mohd Nor, of PPBM, from a heart attack on Jan 11. He had won a four-cornered contest in the 14th general election with an 8,964-vote majority.

The by-election is the sixth to be held in the country since GE14, after the by-elections for the Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong state seats in Selangor and the Cameron Highlands and Port Dickson parliamentary seats in Pahang and Negeri Sembilan.