High voter turnout in Kimanis by-election

Triplets (from left) Zaki, Zaidi and Zakaria Muhamud show the indelible ink on their index fingers after voting at SK Our Lady of Fatima Kelatuan.

KIMANIS: The Kimanis parliamentary by-election is seeing a high voter turnout after more than 70% of the registered voters cast their ballots by 3pm – with two hours still to go before polling ends.

The Election Commission reported that the voter turnout at 3pm was 70.20% – surpassing the 70% it had anticipated. Polling began at 7.30am and ends at 5pm.

There are 29,618 registered voters in the constituency. In the last general election, the voter turnout was 86.2%.

The EC had urged voters to cast their ballots early as rain was forecast for this afternoon.

The by-election – the 10th after GE14 – sees a straight fight between Barisan Nasional’s Mohamad Alamin and Warisan’s Karim Bujang.

Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal, who met voters at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kalatuan, hoped they would turn up in full force before the 19 polling stations close.

“The weather is fine after showers over the last two days. I hope the people will take advantage of the sunny weather to come out and vote,” he told reporters.

Shafie was earlier seen getting on a motorcycle, riding pillion, making his rounds around the polling centres in the Bongawan area.

Mohamad and Karim also hoped for a big turnout although they said there may be showers in the late afternoon.

Triplets turn heads at polling station

Triplets Zakaria, Zaidi and Zaki Muhamud, 34, turned heads when they cast their votes at SK Our Lady of Fatima Kelatuan.

The brothers from Kampung Kelatuan caught not only voters by surprise when they arrived at the centre but EC officials as well.

“The EC workers who attended to me looked at me and my voting slip several times, thinking I had already voted,” Zakaria said with a laugh.

“They were confused and asked, ‘Didn’t you just vote?’ However, all went well when they saw I didn’t have the indelible ink on my finger and realised we were triplets.”

Zaidi had just cast his ballot before Zakaria.

“This is normal for us, it happened in the previous election, too,” Zaidi added.

Zakaria and Zaidi work as security guards while Zaki sells burgers at nearby Papar district.

The brothers hoped the winning candidate would be able to create more job opportunities and bring much needed development to Kimanis.

They also hoped the victorious party would rid Kimanis of illegal immigrants.

The result of the by-election is expected to be known by 10pm.