TAIPING, 7 April 2009: Voting in the three by-elections in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai have been proceeding smoothly with 70% of voters in Batang Ai having cast their votes by 11am.
Election Commission (EC) chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said by that same hour, 20% had voted in Bukit Gantang in Perak and less than 20% in Bukit Selambau in Kedah.
Voting began at 8am.
Abdul Aziz did not explain the high percentage of voter turnout recorded within three hours of polling in the Sarawak state seat of Batang Ai.
However, six out of the 25 polling stations in the constituency were closed by 11am due to the small number of voters.
Sarawak EC director Takun Sunggah said the polling stations were at SK Ulu Engkari, SK Nanga Delok, SK Nanga Aup, Sempang Kemas kindergarten, Salcra Batang Ai multi-purpose hall and the Nanga Patoh Agriculture Office.
Abdul Aziz said in the three by-elections, senior citizens and women were the majority of voters in the morning, while younger voters were expected to cast their ballot papers in the afternoon and evening.
In Sungai Petani, Kedah EC director Zainal Abidin Zakaria said voting was smooth and the fine weather was the reason why many voted in the morning.
The situation at the 22 polling centres for the Bukit Selambau state seat was under control with no reported incidents.
Kedah police chief Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said police were patrolling the roads and monitoring all the voting areas besides carrying out air surveillance.
“So far, so good. No untoward incident has happened except for some shouting and jeering by party supporters in the hot spots,” he said. — Bernama