Penanti - Racial composition by voting stream

Although we want to move away from racial politics, anticipating and analyzing racial composition of voting return by voting stream can still be useful for positive purposes: to neutralize negative campaign and to balance the information power of federal government versus the opposition/NGOs.

Use: Analysts can compare this table to the voting return, by voting stream (classroom), recorded by all party polling agents, to gauge the effectiveness of their campaign message.

Only the Home Affairs ministry and SPR know the officially-recorded racial composition by saluran (voting stream),

  • The SPR does NOT publish racial data by DM, TM, or saluran (stream),
  • Our algorithm is crude, but ends up with reasonably accurate and detailed results
  • see Table B, where we compare our over estimations with "official" estimations reported by the media and http://undi.info.,
  • Because any estimation bias is likely to be cumulative (not offsetting), a small error at DUN level would mean EVEN SMALLER errors at DM or Saluran level.
  • We estimate racial breakdown based on the patterns in voter names.
  • The algorithm:
    • first filters for "Malay" names, starting with Bin, Binti, and all its variations, plus a few common Malay names,
    • then it filters for "Indian" names, by by A/L, A/P, D/O, S/O,
    • plus a few common Indian name particles, and spelling and vowel patterns,
    • the remaining are considered "Chinese"
  • Admittedly, this algorithm is imperfect.
  • This algorithm currently cannot handle the Thai and Dayak name pattern (as in Batang Air).
  • Inside Penanti, the "Other" minority ethnic names, such as Thai names, tend to be lumped into the "Malay" category, inflating it by perhaps 0.6%-0.7% in Penanti. In other constituencies, it is often the "Chinese" category that is inflated by about 1%, by absorbing the errors.
  • However, since the official figures show a fluctuation in the "Others" category between GE12 (0.1%) and now (0.7%), we have some doubts about the consistencies of the official figures on the "Others."

Table A: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Ethnic Breakdown by Saluran - Estimation By an Algorithm by http://malvu.blogspot.com.

Note postal voters include non-police, absentee voters.
parl/DUN/DMSaluranNamaDMTM Malay Chinese Indian Total% Malay% Chinese% IndianTotal %
044/12/011Guar PerahuSMK Guar Perahu 346 4 - 35098.9%1.1%0.0%100%
044/12/012Guar PerahuSMK Guar Perahu 521 - - 521100.0%0.0%0.0%100%
044/12/013Guar PerahuSMK Guar Perahu 521 - - 521100.0%0.0%0.0%100%
044/12/014Guar PerahuSMK Guar Perahu 520 1 - 52199.8%0.2%0.0%100%
044/12/021Kuala MengkuangSK Guar Perahu 345 3 2 35098.6%0.9%0.6%100%
044/12/022Kuala MengkuangSK Guar Perahu 596 - 7 60398.8%0.0%1.2%100%
044/12/023Kuala MengkuangSK Guar Perahu 598 1 4 60399.2%0.2%0.7%100%
044/12/024Kuala MengkuangSK Guar Perahu 595 3 5 60398.7%0.5%0.8%100%
044/12/025Kuala MengkuangSK Guar Perahu 602 2 1 60599.5%0.3%0.2%100%
044/12/031Telok WangDewan Orang Ramai Kampung Tun Sardon Ara Kuda 331 183 85 59955.3%30.6%14.2%100%
044/12/041MengkuangSK Mengkuang 309 38 3 35088.3%10.9%0.9%100%
044/12/042MengkuangSK Mengkuang 462 45 10 51789.4%8.7%1.9%100%
044/12/043MengkuangSK Mengkuang 471 39 7 51791.1%7.5%1.4%100%
044/12/044MengkuangSK Mengkuang 482 32 3 51793.2%6.2%0.6%100%
044/12/051Sungai LembuSJKC Perkampungan Sungai Lembu 4 499 4 5070.8%98.4%0.8%100%
044/12/061PenantiSMK Mengkuang 166 169 15 35047.4%48.3%4.3%100%
044/12/062PenantiSMK Mengkuang 249 82 21 35270.7%23.3%6.0%100%
044/12/063PenantiSMK Mengkuang 279 59 14 35279.3%16.8%4.0%100%
044/12/070Kubang UluPos 22 1 - 2395.7%4.4%0.0%100%
044/12/071Kubang UluSMK Penanti 185 153 12 35052.9%43.7%3.4%100%
044/12/072Kubang UluSMK Penanti 261 237 21 51950.3%45.7%4.1%100%
044/12/073Kubang UluSMK Penanti 294 195 31 52056.5%37.5%6.0%100%
044/12/081Sungai SemambuSK Tanah Liat 245 101 4 35070.0%28.9%1.1%100%
044/12/082Sungai SemambuSK Tanah Liat 305 191 7 50360.6%38.0%1.4%100%
044/12/083Sungai SemambuSK Tanah Liat 372 120 11 50374.0%23.9%2.2%100%
044/12/084Sungai SemambuSK Tanah Liat 388 109 6 50377.1%21.7%1.2%100%
044/12/090Tanah Liat Mukim 9Pos 1 - - 1100.0%0.0%0.0%100%
044/12/095Tanah Liat Mukim 9SK Tanah Liat 291 53 6 35083.1%15.1%1.7%100%
044/12/096Tanah Liat Mukim 9SK Tanah Liat 434 72 17 52383.0%13.8%3.3%100%
044/12/097Tanah Liat Mukim 9SK Tanah Liat 419 93 11 52380.1%17.8%2.1%100%
044/12/098Tanah Liat Mukim 9SK Tanah Liat 394 118 11 52375.3%22.6%2.1%100%
044/12/101Berapit RoadSJKC Jit Sin (A) Jalan Berapit 50 276 24 35014.3%78.9%6.9%100%
044/12/102Berapit RoadSJKC Jit Sin (A) Jalan Berapit 80 444 28 55214.5%80.4%5.1%100%
044/12/103Berapit RoadSJKC Jit Sin (A) Jalan Berapit 146 380 27 55326.4%68.7%4.9%100%

11,284 3,703 397 15,38473.3%24.1%2.6%100.0%
Note: SM = Sekolah Menengah, SK=Sekolah Kebangsaan, SMK=Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan, SJKC = Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (China), SJKT = Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil), SAR = Sekolah Agama Rakyat
Note: If you cannot see the full table width, try to click Menu>View>zoom out (or Ctrl-Middle-Mouse-Button-Scroll). Alternatively, click-drag to highlight the table, copy, and paste into Excel to view.
Note: You are welcome to contact us to understand more about this algorithm.

Table B shows that
  • we have compared our estimations against the official ethnic breakdown (from UNDI.info and government figures reported by Bernama).
  • These DUN-level comparisons are based on the older GE12 roll (2009 Feb 5 gazetted, data dated 2007 Dec 31), the Permatang Pauh by-election roll (dated 2008 Jul 31), and this latest Penanti by election (dated 2009 Apr 16).
  • Comparing the latest roll (2009 April) at the DUN level, our estimates are very close to official estimates, with difference of 0.1% for the Chinese and Indian components.
  • The difference in the Malay composition is larger at 0.6%, apparently because our algorithm lumps the "Others," mostly ethnic Thai names, under the Malay group in Penanti.
  • But note there is fluctuation in the "Others" categories in the official figures between GE12 and now.
  • Down at the stream-level (saluran), the error in absolute number should be even smaller, and the estimate should be useful for stream-level analysis.
Table B: Comparison of overall racial composition of Penanti, at different time, by different sources
Other Estimates% Malay% Chinese% IndianOthersTotal
Our estimates for p044n12 ethnicity 090416 By-election for Penanti (This by-election)73.3%24.1%2.6%
SPR/Bernama 200904 (Note 1)72.7%24.2%2.4%0.7%100.0%
Our estimates for p044n12 ethnicity 080731 By-election for Permatang Pauh (calculate for Penanti only)73.2%24.2%2.6%
Our estimates for p044n12 ethnicity 080205 GE73.2%24.3%2.5%
UNDI.INFO 20080205 (Note 2)73.0%24.2%2.4%0.1%99.7%

Note 1: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v5/news_lite.php?id=407049
Note 2: http://undi.info/ax/state/pn/2008/states/N12/P44.html
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Penanti - 15 Voters Share the Same Houses

Penanti contains relatively few cases of voters who have registered with the same address and house number.

Table A shows that:

  • Three localities with house numbers have 15 voters registered at these addresses,
  • For example, 044/12/01/006 or Permatang Pauh / Penanti / Guar Perahu / Mk 21 Padang Ibu, with the house number 320 contains 15 voters living in this "large address."
Voter countparl/DUN /DM /lokalitiN12 Penanti NamaDMNamaLokalitiNoRumah Cleaned
15044/12/01/006Guar PerahuMk 21 Padang Ibu320
15044/12/06/004PenantiPenanti Mk 20 906
15044/12/01/001Guar PerahuBukit Berangan Mk 21 587
13044/12/01/003Guar PerahuMk 21 Guar Perahu B M 510
13044/12/08/002Sungai SemambuKubang Semang Mk 20 377
13044/12/01/001Guar PerahuBukit Berangan Mk 21 599
13044/12/06/004PenantiPenanti Mk 20 696
13044/12/03/003Telok WangPenanti Estate Mk 19 491
13044/12/04/006MengkuangMengkuang Titi Mk 19 452

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463 Penanti Voters Without House Numbers

Three percent of voters in Penanti are registered without specific house number. This rate is much lower than the nationwide rate of 1/3 without house numbers, but is higher than the Permantang Pauh average of 1.8%.

Some may consider Penanti (P044N12) relatively boring because:

Table A shows that:
  • The highest rate of voters without house number in Penanti are in DMs of Mengkuang (6.4%) and Telok Wang (5.5%).
  • The lowest rates are in DMs Tanah Liat Mukim 9 and Berapit Road.
  • In total, there are 463 voters without house number, and about 1/4 are in Mengkuang DM.

Table A: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Non-Postal Voters with Blank House Number Grouped By Voting Districts (DM)
Parl/DUN/DMNamaDUNNamaDMCount of voters
without house number
Total VotersPercent
044/12/04PenantiMengkuang 121 1,9016.4%
044/12/03PenantiTelok Wang 33 5995.5%
044/12/01PenantiGuar Perahu 99 1,9135.2%
044/12/06PenantiPenanti 51 1,0544.8%
044/12/07PenantiKubang Ulu 46 1,3893.3%
044/12/02PenantiKuala Mengkuang 61 2,7642.2%
044/12/08PenantiSungai Semambu 20 1,8591.1%
044/12/05PenantiSungai Lembu 5 5071.0%
044/12/09PenantiTanah Liat Mukim 9 18 1,9190.9%
044/12/10PenantiBerapit Road 9 1,4550.6%

463 15,3603.0%
Postal voters



Table B shows that:
  • For example, 45 voters are registered without house number at 044/12/07/001 or Permatang Pauh / Penanti / Kubang Ulu / Kubang Ulu Mk 20.
  • Such cases are less extreme than other places, such as Bukit Selambau, which has 20% and many addresses without house numbers but with over 300 voters in each.
Table B: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Localities with the most number of voters registered WITHOUT House Number (NoRumah)
Voter countparl/DUN /DM /lokalitiN12 Penanti NamaDMNamaLokalitiNoRumah Cleaned
45044/12/07/001Kubang UluKubang Ulu Mk 20
38044/12/04/006MengkuangMengkuang Titi Mk 19
31044/12/06/005PenantiPondok Penanti Mk 20
31044/12/04/003MengkuangMengkuang Mk 19
29044/12/02/002Kuala MengkuangMk 20 Kuala Mengkuang
22044/12/01/004Guar PerahuKampong Terus Mk 21
21044/12/01/002Guar PerahuMk 21 Guar Jering B M
20044/12/01/006Guar PerahuMk 21 Padang Ibu
17044/12/02/003Kuala MengkuangMk 20 Mengkuang Mak Sulong
15044/12/01/003Guar PerahuMk 21 Guar Perahu B M

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Penanti centenerians already cleaned out in August 2008

We analyze voter age groups and changes. The largest voter age group in Penanti is the 40-49 year-old group. SPR had deleted all 100+ year-old voters just before the August 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election.

Apparently to avoid embarrassment during the August 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election, SPR had deleted all 100-year-old voters in a cleaning overdrive by 2008 Jul 31. See our report here: Permatang Pauh Lost 25 Centenarians. Did SPR follow proper procedure?

We are able to make two pairs of comparison because we have three sets of voter data for Penanti:

  1. 2008 Feb 05-gazetted data for GE12,
  2. 2008 Jul 31 data under Permatang Pauh by-election, and
  3. 2009 Apr 16 data under the current Penanti by-election.
Table A compares Sets 1 and 2, while Table B compares sets 2 and 3.

Tables A and B show that:
  • The largest age group for voters in Penanti are 40-49 year-olds,
  • The second largest group are 30-39 year-olds.
  • The SPR deleted voters aged 100 and older, across the board, before 2008 Jul 31 data (in Table A),
  • Since then, SPR has no need to delete any centenerians (inTable B),
  • Table A's net decrease in voters, despite 6 months of newly-registered voters, indicated SPR was aggressively deleting voters by 2008 Jul 31, probably to avoid embarrassing anomalies before the high-profile Permatang Pauh by-election.
  • Net voter increased only by 4 between the Permatang Pau and Penanti by-elections (in Table B).
Table A: P044 N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll Voters by Age Groups
Comparing 20080205 data with 20080731


AgeTahunlahirTahunlahirGazettedDate Date

GroupFromTo2008020520080731ChangeChange %
21-2919791987 1,789 1,845 563.0%
30-3919691978 3,587 3,610 230.6%
40-4919591968 4,096 4,086 (10)-0.2%
50-5919491958 2,912 2,900 (12)-0.4%
60-6919391948 1,753 1,726 (27)-1.6%
70-7919291938 958 923 (35)-3.8%
80-8919191928 275 253 (22)-8.7%
90-9919091918 40 37 (3)-8.1%
100+18841908 11 - (11)#DIV/0!

15,421 15,380 (41)-0.3%

Table B: P044 N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll Voters by Age Groups
Comparing 20080731 data with 20090416


AgeTahunlahirTahunlahirData Date
Date Date

GroupFromTo2008073120090416ChangeChange %
21-2919791987 1,845 1,943 985.0%
30-3919691978 3,610 3,623 130.4%
40-4919591968 4,086 4,083 (3)-0.1%
50-5919491958 2,900 2,883 (17)-0.6%
60-6919391948 1,726 1,696 (30)-1.8%
70-7919291938 923 891 (32)-3.6%
80-8919191928 253 234 (19)-8.1%
90-9919091918 37 31 (6)-19.4%
100+18841908 - - - #DIV/0!

15,380 15,384 40.0%

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Penanti - Very small and large voting stations

Where do Penanti voters go to vote? Penanti (P044N12) contains very small (507) and large (3,778) voting stations.

Table A shows that Penanti has 15,360 regular voters and 24 postal voters.

Table A: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll

Parl/DUNNamaDUNDM countTM countSaluran countVoter count
Nonpostal110932 15,360
Postal voters

Total including postal voteres

Table B shows that for the by-election of 2009 May 31, Penanti (P044 N12) will have:
  • 10 Voting Districts (DM, Daerah Mengundi),
  • 9 Voting Stations (TM, Tempat Mengundi), because the two DMs of Sungai Semambu and Tanah Liat Mukim 9 share the same TM of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanah Liat,
  • The smallest TM at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Perkampungan Sungai Lembu has only 1 Voting Stream (saluran), where only 507 voters can vote,
  • The largest stand-alone DM is Kuala Mengkuang with 2,764 voters, who can vote at TM Sekolah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu,
  • However, because TM Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanah Liat is used by 2 DMs, the maximum voters expected there will be a total of 3,778. This TM will have a total of 8 Voting Streams,
  • Other TMs have 1 to 5 voting streams.
Penanti's May 2009 by-election roll details are very similar to its Aug 2008 details under the Permatang Pauh by-election. See http://malvu.blogspot.com/2008/08/permatang-pauh-official-electoral-roll.html

Table B: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Non-Postal Voters By Saluran
Parl/DUN/DMNamaDUNNamaDMTMSaluran Voters
044/12/01PenantiGuar PerahuSekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu 4 1,913
044/12/02PenantiKuala MengkuangSekolah Kebangsaan Guar Perahu5 2,764
044/12/03PenantiTelok WangDewan Orang Ramai Kampung Tun Sardon Ara Kuda1 599
044/12/04PenantiMengkuangSekolah Kebangsaan Mengkuang4 1,901
044/12/05PenantiSungai LembuSekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Perkampungan Sungai Lembu1 507
044/12/06PenantiPenantiSekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Mengkuang3 1,054
044/12/07PenantiKubang UluSekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Penanti3 1,389
044/12/08PenantiSungai SemambuSekolah Kebangsaan Tanah Liat4 1,859
044/12/09PenantiTanah Liat Mukim 9Sekolah Kebangsaan Tanah Liat4 1,919 3,778
044/12/10PenantiBerapit RoadSekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Jit Sin (A) Jalan Berapit3 1,455
DM count = 10TM Count = 932 15,360
Note: Red text highlights shared TM

Table C shows that of the 24 postal voters, 23 are police and 1 is absentee voters.

Table C: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Parl/DUN/DMNamaDUNNamaDMTM / NamaLokalitiSaluran Voters
044/12/07/701PenantiKubang UluPos / Balai Polis Kubang Semang0 23
044/12/09/801PenantiTanah Liat Mukim 9Pos / Pemilih Tak Hadir0 1



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Understanding P044N12 Penangti state seat under Permatang Pauh

Where is Penanti, how many regular voters and postal voters are there? What have been their voting history? Undi.info provides much of the background information.

Penanti (N12) is a small state seat within Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency (P044), on the eastern side of Penang state, adjoining Kedah state. It is relatively rural within the urbanized Permatang Pauh.

The Penanti state constituency (See Wikimapia.org map) appears to:

  • straddle both side of the eastern part of Kulim-Butterworth highway, mostly lying on the north side of the highway,
  • be roughly bordered on the west by Jalan Abdul Kadir, Jalan Tanah Liat, and part of Jalan Arumugam Pilai,
  • be roughly bordered on the north by P118 and P116 highways,
  • be bordered on the east by the Penang-Kedah border,
  • be roughly bordered on the south by the Mengkuang Dam hills, P129 and K120
  • There appears to be a gerrymandering "tongue" that extends southeast into Bukit Mertajam, together with N10 and N11, which allows the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency to capture the new Bukit Mertajam police headquarters (and its 400+ police voters), while excluding the more urban areas of N13 and N15.
Look up Penanti at Wikimapia.org on its:

MAFREL operating center for Penanti is located at at: Dewan Jawatankuasa Kemajuan Kampung (JKKK) Bukit Indera Muda 14000 Bukit Mertajam.

It is next to a badminton court.

How to go there (See Wikimapia map): From Permatang Pauh go to Kubang Semang. After seeing a mosque go another 100m and look for the operation Centre on the right. There will be a big MAFREL banner.

Source of constituency maps: http://undi.info/state/pn.html

Table A shows that:
  • Penanti electoral roll dated 2008 April 16 contains 15,384 voters
  • This total is made up of 15,360 regular voters, 23 police postal voters, and 1 absentee postal voter.
  • Penanti contains 10 DM, or Daerah Mengundi, or Voting District.
  • Penanti contains 9 TMs, Tempat Mengundi, or Voting Stations (mostly schools),
  • Two of the DMs share the same TM.
  • The 23 police postal voters are registered at Balai Polis Kubang Semang.

Table A: P044 Permatang Pauh N12 Penanti 20090416 By-Election Roll
Summary of Data By DUN
Parl/DUNNamaDUNDM countTM countSaluran countVoter count
044/12Penanti10932 15,360
Total nonpostal110932 15,360
Postal voters

Total including postal voteres


Parl/DUN/DMNamaDUNNamaDMTM / NamaLokalitiSaluran Voters
044/12/07/701PenantiKubang UluPos / Balai Polis Kubang Semang0 23
044/12/09/801PenantiTanah Liat Mukim 9Pos / Pemilih Tak Hadir0 1


Voting history from Undi.info
PENANG: N12 - PenantiVoters: 15,421
UMNO Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid5127
PKR Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin73462,219
Racial BreakdownMalay: 73.00%, Chinese: 24.20%, Indian: 2.40%, Others: 0.10%

PENANG: N12 - PenantiVoters: 14,808
UMNO Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid6195667
PKR Anuar Shaari5528
Racial BreakdownMalay: 70.1%, Chinese: 26.7%, Indian: 2.7%, Others: 0.5%

State Seats / Polling DistrictsGuar Perahu, Kuala Mengkuang, Telok Wang, Mengkuang, Sungai Lembu, Penanti, Kubang Ulu, Sungai Semambu, Tanah Liat Mukim 9, Berapit Road,

Source: http://undi.info/ax/state/pn/2008/states/N12/P44.html

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SPR to dismiss Penanti winner for "pondok panas?"

SPR appears to be laying the ground to dismiss any winning candidate at Penanti who may decide to challenge the latest ban on "pondok panas." Will this be the first directly-elected Deputy Chief Minister in Malaysia? Will PKR defy the ban? Will SPR risk public outcry and dismiss the winning candidate on any pondok panas "violation?"

Update 2009 May 13: SPR has reversed its position and will now allow the set up of pondok panas as long as they are more than 50 metres from voting centers. The question remains: Will SPR be competent enough to clearly set out the border from which the 50 meters are counted, so that political parties have clear ideas to instruct their contractors to place the booths where they should be?

Update 2009 May 31: MAFREL continues to oppose the permission for pondok panas, now that SPR backs down and dilly-dally by not allowing pondok panas but allowing "information booth."

PKR continues to push the ambiguous limit. MAFREL continues to demand complete halt to campaigning. All See continued debate at:

Original Post

No less than the new chairman of SPR (Election Commission) has set the new and strict condition that candidates in the Penanti by-election may not erect "service booths" or "pondok panas" outside polling centers on polling day in Penanti on May 31. This is in addition to the warning that parties and candidates may not campaign on polling day (a rule that is widely understood but as widely violated without consequences in the past). Bernama quoted him as saying the penalty may be the forfeiture of the by-election victory.

However, Parti Keadilan Rakyat has vowed to defy the new no-pondok-panas rule, while observing the existing no-campaign-on-polling-day law. It reasons the law allows for pondok panas provided there is enough distance from the polling center and there is no canvassing activities.

PKR also cited the 2004 history when SPR banned pondok panas but reversed the ruling during the last hours without informing, and thereby disadvantaging, the opposition coalition.

PKR has also promised to install its candidate as the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang state government, which gives rise to these interesting questions:
  1. Will this be the first directly-elected Deputy Chief Minister in Malaysia (albeit by only one of the 40 state seats)?
  2. If PKR went ahead with erecting pondok panas (which is likely) and SPR went ahead to disqualify the winning candidate (also likely), what will be the reaction from voters and political parties?
  3. How will be it affect the Penang governing structure?
The answer may lie in

A problem of border definition for "Voting Place/Station" (Tempat Mengundi)

A key problem with "pondok panas" is really the unclear or lack of definition of the border of the voting station, from which SPR counts 50 meters where no "pondok panas" is allowed. SPR has been vague historically, causing a vicious cycle of political parties competiting to be "close to the voters."

Does the 50 meters zone start from:
  • the voting streams (typically classroom)? This would be a very small no-go zone, thereby even allowing pondok panas inside the fences where the school has large compounds.
  • the yellow-tape zone inside the school area, behind SPR's own voter assistance booths, just outside the general areas of voting streams/classrooms? This would be clearly marked with yellow tape, but is still a narrow zone.
  • the main gate of the schools typically used as voting place/station? This would allow pondok panas to be set up still close to the school gates.
  • the whole length of the fence of the school? This will set a large and safe zone, but will make the political parties unhappy for being placed across the street and many houses away.
  • And how about voting places that are not schools, such as public hall above a market place, and without clear natural borders such as fences?
  • What if political parties' careless contractors just "dumped" the pondok panas overnight right next to the shool gates (right picture) - which unfortunately happens too often?
  • What if some schools have very large compoungs, and some virtually no compound?
The SPR would do well by clearly defining the border of the "voting place/station" and by strictly monitoring and ensuring no-canvassing rule at "pondok panas."

This would require the SPR to mark the "inner zone" at least one or two days before voting day, because if pondok panas are to be allowed in the future, the contractors will have set them up before polling day, and will need to measure 50 meters from the inner-zone markers.

Below are SPR and PKR statements.
Emphases are added in red:

Strictly No Campaigning On Polling Day In Penanti - EC
April 27, 2009

PUTRAJAYA, April 27 (Bernama) -- The Election Commission (EC) is to strictly enforce regulations prohibiting campaigning on polling day in the Penanti state by-election in Penang next month.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the prohibition covered canvassing for votes as well as setting up "pondok panas" (party kiosks) close to polling centres.

He disclosed this after announcing May 23 and 31 as the dates for nomination and polling, respectively, in the by-election.

Political parties should make full use of the eight days of campaigning from May 23 until midnight of May 30, he said.

"I want to begin strictly enforcing the prohibitions in Penanti. Voters must be able to go to the polling centres without any hindrance. If possible, we want to make this the culture in future elections," he said.

Abdul Aziz said there was no necessity for the party kiosks where voters checked their voting streams as the EC already provided such a service.

"It's redundancy. We will provide additional counters for this," he said.

Abdul Aziz said the EC would have meetings with the police this week on the enforcement of the prohibition and on the limiting of the number of supporters on nomination day and during the announcement of the election results.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the party kiosks close to polling centres were a centre of tension as party supporters campaigned there.

He said the police, returning officers and EC officers could stop anyone from setting up these kiosks.

Election candidates and agents would be held liable for the party kiosks and individuals themselves would be held responsible for campaigning on polling day, he said.

Offenders could be fined RM5,000 and, by virtue of the offence, cannot be registered or listed as an elector in any election or picked as a candidate in any election for five years from the date of the offence.

"If the individual has been elected on that date, then the seat must be vacated," he said.


PKR to defy EC's ban on 'pondok panas'
Apr 30, 09

PKR will adhere to the Election Commission's condition to bar active campaigning on polling day, but will still erect electoral booths (pondok panas) near all polling stations during the Penanti by-election in Penang.

The party also disagrees with the EC's rule to restrict the electoral campaign period for eight days from nomination day on Saturday May 23 until midnight on May 30, the eve of polling day.

PKR national election machinery director Saifuddin Nasution slammed the eight-day campaign period as ridiculous, insufficient and inadequate for any contestants to prepare the election machinery, mobilise workers and supporters and disseminate their messages across to electorates.

"A short campaign period is unjust and unfair," he told reporters after speaking at a public forum organised by the party Bayan Baru division's Youth wing in Penang last night.

He said the party would start its campaign soon, well before nomination day, but would stop canvassing votes on polling day on May 31, to provide the cool off period for electorates.

He said pondok panas were erected by political parties not to canvass votes but to compliment EC and provide an electoral service to voters to cast their ballots without much hassle.

"It's a free service provided by political parties to all voters. I don't understand why the EC wants to stop this," said Saifuddin, the Machang parliamentarian.

He also recalled that EC banned pondok panas in the 2004 general election, only to lift it before the polling day without informing non-Barisan Nasional parties.

"Then Barisan Alternatif did not erect any pondok panas but BN did. We are going ahead with our pondok panas," he said.

EC head Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said political parties and their supporters will be prevented from canvassing for votes and campaigning on polling day in the Penanti by-election to allow a cooling-off period for voters to make their choice.

"We have allowed a campaign period from the nomination day until midnight eve of polling day on May 31, and all parties will have to campaign within that (period),” he added.

He also did not rule out the possibility that the number of supporters accompanying candidates on nomination day would be limited to a "sensible" number, so that the police strength can also be reduced.

To this, Saifuddin pointed out that it was the duty of the police, not the EC, to maintain law and order during election period.

"An election is a democratic fun fare for Malaysians. What's wrong in political parties mobilising its supporters by the thousands to accompany their candidates during nomination day?

"EC should stick to its job of conducting a fair and just electoral process for all parties and people," stressed Saifuddin, who said the PKR election machinery was well oiled and geared up to secure a big victory in the Penanti by-election.

Looking at a big win

Disclosing that the party had identified its position, prospects, issues and problems it would face in the campaign, he said his team had drawn out a comprehensive and aggressive election strategy to tackle all obstacles to secure a big win.

"We are prepared and up to the challenge in Penanti. I believe our winning prospect is good although we have to work hard to secure it.

"We are looking at a big win," said Saifuddin who will head the Pakatan Rakyat election operations in Penanti.

The seat fell vacant when former Penang deputy chief minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin resigned on April 16

The state seat comes under PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim's Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency - a PKR stronghold.

In the Permatang Pauh by-election last August, Penanti voters gave Anwar a thumping majority of 3,276.

PKR's Abdul Rahman Abdul Kadir won the state seat in 1999 before losing it to Permatang Pauh Umno chief Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid in 2004. He in turn lost to Mohammad Fairus last year.

First-timer Mohammad Fairus took the seat with a majority of 2,219. He polled 7,346 votes against Abdul Jalil's 5,127.

Former academician and PKR state deputy leader, 58-year-old Mansor Othman is the PKR candidate for the by-election.

Although Umno has not decided on whether to field a candidate, Saifuddin believes the rival party would eventually contest due to grassroots pressure.

He expects Umno to play up the issue of 'Mansor the outsider' to stir local sentiments during the campaign, but it would not have much impact on the result.

"There are so many people who have contested and won outside their home state, including myself.

"I am a parliamentarian from Kelantan and previously won the Lunas state seat in Kedah even though I was actually born in Singapore," said Saifuddin.

Fairus issue needs to be addressed

When contacted, Mansor, the PKR Balik Pulau division chief who was born in Bayan Baru, acknowledged that Umno would use the issue to stir local sentiment.

"But I don't think it would work because people are more interested in service-orientated representatives, someone who can deliver.

"Moreover I am not an alien to the area for I have worked for the party in Penanti since I was the state chief in 1999," he told Malaysiakini.

Saifuddin however, conceded that the party needed to address the disgruntlement of PKR supporters and constituents over the "Fairus episode."

An estimated 30 percent of the electorate is said to be unhappy over the manner the party leadership handled the controversy.

"We will explain thoroughly on the reasons for Fairus to resign and the need to replace him with a new leader," said Saifuddin, adding that the former Penanti representative would also join the party campaign.

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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.


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