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D-DAY: Voter turnout is 68.79pct

Malaysiakini Team  |  Published:  |  Modified:

CAMERON POLLS | Polling day for the Cameron Highlands by-election - which is expected to be the tightest contest since the Teluk Intan polls in 2014 - has finally arrived.

The polling stations throughout the constituency will open at 8am and will close at different times throughout the day due to logistics issues, according to the Election Commission.

The latest closing time for polling stations is at 5.30pm, after which Malaysiakini will feature live coverage of the results.

Follow Malaysiakini as we bring you live reports of polling day on the ground.


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Follow live coverage of the vote tallying
  • Police report filed over 'racist' banner
  • I was in a rush – Manogaran apologises for shirt blunder
  • Ramli: I don't want to fall into their trap
  • BN, Harapan set up tents outside Betau polling station
  • DAP flags appear in PAS stronghold
  • MP objects to 'pondok panas'
  • 'Voting process faster than GE14'


Voter turnout is 68.79pct

8.30pm: The Election Commission announces that the total voter turnout for the by-election is 68.79 percent.


Polling ends, counting starts

5.30pm: Polling ends for the Cameron Highlands by-election. Follow our live coverage of the vote tallying here to see which of the four contestants will conquer the hill.


LIVE: Cameron Highlands by-election results


Voter turnout at 68pct as of 4pm

4.45pm: The Election Commission (EC) announces that voter turnout is at 68 percent as of 4pm. In the last general election, the total voter turnout for Cameron Highlands was 79.03 percent.

According to information from BN, its candidate Ramli Mohd Nor is leading the other three candidates based on the vote count from various polling stations.


Voter turnout 66pct as of 3pm

3.30pm: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout is at 66 percent as of 3pm. Some polling stations were closed earlier.


First ballot box arrives at tallying centre

2.50pm: SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah - The first ballot box arrives at the official Election Commission (EC) tallying centre.

The ballot box is from SK Lemoi from the Pos Lemoi polling district, which closed at 1pm. The last polling station is expected to close at 5.30pm, after which the official tallying will start.


Voter turnout at 63pct as of 2pm

2.40pm: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout is at 63 pecent as of 2pm. Some of the polling centres have been closed.

Following criticism from the opposition, EC chairperson Azhar Azizan Harun yesterday said this was practiced in previous polls as well and is done for logistical and safety reasons.

He also volunteered to resign if Malaysians are not satisfied with his performance or the conduct of the EC under his stewardship.


I was in a rush – Manogaran apologises for shirt blunder

1.30pm: SK Betau - M Manoragan admits that it was a mistake to wear a shirt with the Pakatan Harapan logo.

“It was my personal mistake. It was early in the morning and I was rushing. I immediately left the polling centre when the (EC) officer told me to,” he adds.

Manogaran, who was escorted out of the polling centre by EC officers, also denies Umno acting deputy president Ismail Sabri Yaakob's claim that Harapan no longer cares about following the law.

“No. We follow the law. This is my mistake. I am sorry,” he says.


Police report filed over 'racist' banner

2.30pm: SK Kampung Keledek – DAP Youth files a police report over a banner attributed to Pakatan Harapan, which it claims is racist.

The banner which featured the images of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Harapan candidate M Manogaran states, “I am confident Pakatan can win even without the votes of the Orang Asal and Malays.”

The banner has since been removed.


Voter turnout 55pct as of noon

12.40pm: The EC announces that voter turnout is at 55 percent as of noon. In Pos Mesun alone, 89 percent of voters have cast their ballot. This is higher than the turnout during the 14th general election.


Manogaran lands in trouble for wearing shirt with Harapan logo

12.15pm: SK Senderut, Jelai - Election officers escort M Manogaran out of the polling centre for wearing a shirt with Pakatan Harapan's logo, which is an offence under the Elections Act.

Separately at SK Betau in Jelai, BN candidate Ramli Mohd Nor says he will let the people judge the DAP man's action as the latter has more experience as a candidate compared to him.

"Basically, for me it is simple, he is very experienced. How many elections has he gone through?

"For me, it is the first, so let the public judge," he adds.

Acting Umno deputy president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is accompanying Ramli to visit several polling centres, claims that Manogaran's action shows how Harapan no longer cares about following the rules after winning federal power.

Ismail adds he hopes that electoral reform coalition Bersih will highlight such offences by Harapan, like what it did to BN in the past.


Voter turnout rate 47pct as of 11am

12.00pm: The EC announces that the voter turnout rate as of 11am is 47 percent.


Ramli: I don't want to fall into their trap

11.40am: SK Mensun – BN candidate Ramli Mohd Noor denies disliking the media. He says that as a former senior police officer, he often dealt with the media in the past.

“I am used to you. But I do not want to fall into their (Pakatan Harapan) trap. The more you talk, the more crap comes out...,” he adds.

Asked if he is confident about the outcome, he replies: “Insya Allah.”


BN, Harapan set up tents outside Betau polling station

11.20am: SK Betau, Jelai - BN and Pakatan Harapan have set up tents outside this polling station, albeit further than the stipulated 50m from the entrance.

BN supporters shout “kencing” while Harapan supporters chant “Pakatan Harapan.”


EC: 33 pct turnout so far

10.45am: Brinchang - Election Commission head Azizan Azhar Harun estimates that the turnout rate, as of 10am, is 33 percent.

"All is going well," he says while visiting the SJKC Brinchang voting centre.


More DAP flags appear

10.45am: Jelai - It seems that the DAP flags appearing in Sungai Keledek is not an isolated incident.

According to Ketari assemblyperson Young Syefura Othman, there were similar flags in Sungai Koyan 1, Sungai Koyan 3 and Lubuk Kulit – all Malay-majority areas.

Election laws only allow for contesting parties to put up campaign material. In this case, DAP's M Manogaran can only use the Pakatan Harapan logo for his campaign.

Over the past two weeks, PAS and BN have been repeatedly accusing DAP of being the enemy of Islam when engaging Malay voters.


15 percent turnout at 9am

10.30am: Tanah Rata - Election Commission head Azhar Azizan Harun estimates that 15 percent of the 31,639 eligible voters to have cast their ballots as of 9am.

So far, the weather is looking good and expected to hold. 

The turnout for Cameron Highlands during the 14th general election was around 79 percent.

Among the voters is former MyPPP president M Kayveas, who hopes to see changes to election rules so that only locals can run for public office.


Pahang MB votes, not every candidate can

9.50am: Tanjung Gahai - Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail casts his ballot in SK Tanjung Gahai. He is a Cameron Highlands voter and is the lawmaker for Jelai.

Of the four candidates for this by-election, only independent candidates Wong Seng Yee and Sallehudin Ab Talib are eligible voters.

Records show BN's Ramli Mohd Noor is a registered voter in Kuala Lumpur, while Harapan's M Manogaran is a voter in Selangor.


DAP flags appear in PAS stronghold

9.20am: Kampung Sungai Keledek - Pakatan Harapan activists remove a number of flags bearing the DAP symbol near the voting centre. 

They also remove a bunting with the image of Harapan candidate M Manogaran and Lim Kit Siang, which appears to be a modified version of another poster depicting Manogaran and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Some of the Harapan activists believe that the unsanctioned posters and flags appeared last night.

BN activists in the vicinity cheer their Harapan counterparts on during the process.

Sungai Keledek is a PAS stronghold. The party won 60 percent of votes in the polling district during the 14th general election.


MP objects to 'pondok panas'

9.15am: Pos Mensun - Klang MP Charles Santiago is raising objections about a booth with BN campaign material near the voting centre.

After complaining to the Election Commission officials and the police, the person manning the booth moves further away.

"They are putting pressure on voters... This is going to be a close election. Every vote matters," Santiago told Malaysiakini.

The booths - colloquially known as pondok panas - serves as an unofficial method for voters to check if they are in the right voting centre.

However, such booths are typically for last-minute campaigning while gauging voter turnout and sentiment. 

As of 9am, approximately 20 percent of the 557 voters in the Pos Mensun district have already shown up at the polling centre.


'Voting process faster than GE14'

8.55am: Tanah Rata - Rash Pal Kaur (photo), a 55-year-old teacher who has voted six times in Cameron Highlands, said she only spent 20 minutes waiting in line this morning at SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah to cast her vote.

“It (the process) was very smooth. Much faster than during the 14th general election.

“I didn’t have to wait long. Within 20 minutes, I was done,” she told reporters at the polling station. 


Independent Wong lines up to vote

8.00am: Bertam Valley - Independent candidate Wong Seng Yee arrives at the SJK(C) Bertam Valley polling station, where he will cast his vote.

The 40-year-old ditches the trademark farmer's outfit he sported throughout the campaign, opting for a black jacket and brown shoes.

Wong says he will avoid shaking hands with constituents and reporters to avoid being seen as campaigning on polling day.

About 50 people are lining up to cast their ballots at the polling station.


 

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