8am - 5pm: Polling
6pm: Vote counting begins
8pm: Results expected
Today, 14,753 Tenang voters will cast their ballots to elect their next assemblyperson. Their choice is between Umno’s Mohd Azahar Ibrahim, 39, a former assistant district officer, and PAS’ Normala Sudirman, 38, a former remedial teacher.
There are 12 polling districts, each with a polling station. This rural state seat in northern Johor consists of three Felda settlements, five traditional Malay kampong, three Chinese new villages, 25 modern residential areas, one government quarters, four Indian estates and two Orang Asli villages.
Malays make up 47.5 percent of the total voters, followed by Chinese (39 percent), Indians (12 percent) and other races (1.3 percent).
Voting is from 8am to 5pm. The vote counting will be done in each polling station soon after the polls are closed. The ballot boxes will then be transferred to the main tally centre - Labis municipal hall - and the final result announced there. The Election Commission expects the results to be known by 8pm.
According to the weather broadcast, morning in Tenang will be chilly and cloudy, to be followed by heavy rain in the afternoon.
It has been raining all day long over the past few days, dampening the final leg of campaigning for the contesting political parties.
The Tenang state seat fell vacant on Jan 17 when its former assemblyperson Sulaiman Taha from Umno died due to complication of diabetes.
Tenang, one of the two state seats under the Labis parliamentary seat, has always been a BN stronghold. BN won the seat in the 2004 general election with a 5,517 majority but this was slashed to 2,492 in the 2008 general election.
BN has set a lofty target to win this by-election with a 5,000-vote majority, while Pakatan Rakyat would call it a victory should they manage to further reduce BN’s majority in 2008.
8.02am: It is raining cats and dogs in Tenang as voters begin trickling into the polling centres in one of the wettest by-election so far.
Both BN and PAS have yet to set up their ‘pondok panas’. The ‘pondok panas’, or stalls, in front of the polling centre are not allowed by the Elections Commission in recent times, but are often crucial to help voters check which polling stations they should be casting their ballots in.
Party workers are on stand-by with their vehicles and umbrellas to fetch voters to the polling stations...