Penanti by-election May 31; only 8 days to campaign

The Election Commission has fixed May 31 for Penanti by-election, leaving only 8 days to campaign after nomination day on May 23. The EC is again vague on the precise revision and gazette dates of the electoral roll used.

Voters can check their registration status on the Election Commission (EC or SPR) website at http://daftarj.spr.gov.my/penanti/ or by Short Messaging Service (SMS), typing SPR SEMAK [NO. KAD PENGENALAN] and sending it to 15888.

But SPR officials speaks increasingly vaguely about their version dates of electoral rolls. See our March 2009 post SPR sinks further into opacity and sluggishness.

Two Bernama reports revealed that SPR will be using the electoral roll based on the "2008 Master Roll" updated to April 16. This probably means voter data up to 2008 Dec 31 has finally been gazetted sometimes after Feb 19 (the presumed gazette date of 2008 third-quarter data). It is not clear whether there were additional ungazetted changes done on ad hoc basis, as in the case of the 2007 Jul 31 Permatang Pauh by-election roll.

Even the latest nation-wide voters verification page no longer cites its gazette date! (See right picture.)

Below are SPR's announcements (Emphases added in red):

Penanti By-election On May 31
April 27, 2009

PUTRAJAYA, April 27 (Bernama) -- The question of whether there will be a by-election for the N.12 Penanti state assembly seat in Penang was answered today when the Election Commission (EC) fixed May 23 for nomination and May 31, for polling.

EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof in declaring the Penanti seat vacant as of April 17, the date EC was officially informed by the Penang state assembly speaker, said both the dates were chosen as the seat must be filled within 60 days after being declared vacant.

"On April 17, EC received a letter from the Penang state assembly speaker, confirming that the Penanti seat was vacant after incumbent Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin had tendered a resignation letter dated March 19.

"After studying the validity of the speaker's announcement to EC and attached copy of a declaration letter from Mohammad Fairus with regard to his resignation, EC are convinced that the seat is indeed vacant," he told reporters here, Monday.

Mohammad Fairus, 33, from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had announced his resignation as Penanti state assemblyman on April 16, to pursue his studies and to clear his name from accusations hurled at him.

He had earlier resigned as Penang Deputy Chief Minister I following allegations that he was involved in corruption, a claim that led to an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

However, the MACC last Thursday declared that it did not have substantial evidence to charge him.

During the March 8, 2008 general election, Mohammad Fairus polled 7,346 votes to beat Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid by a 2,219-vote majority.

Abdul Aziz said the registration of voters list to be used for the coming by-election would be the updated one until April 16, 2009, which comprises 15,384 registered voters, made up of 15,360 normal voters and 24 postal voters.

From the total, 72.68 percent are Malays, 24.22 percent Chinese, 2.39 percent Indians and 0.71 percent, others.

Abdul Aziz said since May 31 is a Sunday, EC expect an 80 percent turn out on polling date because the March 8 general election registered an 82.1 percent turn out.

He added that Dewan Besar Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) in Bukit Mertajam would be the venue for nomination and also become the main tallying centre.

"There will be nine voting centres involving eight schools and a community hall with 32 polling stations while 242 officers will be involved in the voting process," he said.

Abdul Aziz reiterated that there was no delay in the announcement of the date for the by-election as claimed by some because it was done within 10 days, as provided by the law.

"It also had nothing to do with the Umno Supreme Council meeting on Friday. If I had announced on the 11th or 12th day, then I agree there was a delay, he said.

He added that voters can check their status through the EC website www.spr.gov.my or through the Short Messaging Service (SMS) by typing SPR SEMAK [NO. KAD PENGENALAN] and sending it to 15888, starting May 8.

"Voters can also contact the EC head office in Putrajaya by calling 03-8885 6500 or the Penang EC office at 04-261 7692," he said.


Penanti Voters Can Check Polling Details
May 08, 2009

PENANG, May 8 (Bernama) -- Penanti registered voters can check polling details for the state by-election slated for May 31 starting Friday.

Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Ngah Senik said voters could check the polling centres, streams and serial numbers via its website, SMS or by calling the Penang EC office.

"Voters can go to our website www.spr.gov.my and receive the information just by typing their Identity Card numbers and other details needed," he said in a statement here Friday.

Checks via SMS could be made by typing SPRSEMAKIC card number and send to 15888. Users will be charged 35 sen per SMS message.

Voters could also call the Penang EC office at 04-2617692 from 8.30am-9pm daily until May 30.

Ngah said EC would be using the 2008 master electoral roll updated until April 16, 2009.

Penanti has 15,384 registered voters comprising 15,360 standard voters and 24 postal voters.

The Penanti by-election was called after Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vacated the seat on April 16 to pursue studies.


No comments: