SELANDAR: The atmosphere at SJK(C) Chiao Chee was cheerful even before the gates of the voting centre here for the Asahan seat were opened this morning.
Despite the slightly lower-than-usual turnout of voters, early voters in Asahan, who seemed to be mostly senior citizens, were almost giddy with excitement as they waited to cast their ballot.
They added some much-needed enthusiasm to the cloudy morning.
“No one here is from out of town. We’re all locals, we’re all neighbours,” said Nathan, 66, who was the first in line this morning.
“We might be older, but we still have the spirit to go and vote. It’s always best to vote earlier!” said a man in the middle of the line, clearly smiling beneath his mask.
“How are you?” and “Have you eaten?” were heard multiple times over the morning as neighbours of all races bumped into each other at the voting centre.
A handful of voters even went on to have an impromptu breakfast with their friends, after casting their ballots.
Some locals also seemed to have planned ahead on what time they would be at the centre, just so they could vote together.
By 9am, nearly 300 of the 2,008 voters registered with the centre had turned up.
Younger voters started turning up after that, with longer lines slowly forming over time as Election Commission (EC) workers directed them to their respective polling stations.
Asahan is facing one of three six-cornered contests in the Melaka state election.
Former chief minister Idris Haron, who is contesting on a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket, is facing Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Fairul Nizam Roslan, Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Dhanesh Basil, and three independent candidates.
The Malay community makes up 64% of the constituency, followed by the Chinese (23%), Indians (11%) and others (2%).