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Two arrested for trying to prevent voters from going to the polls

BUKIT MERTAJAM, 22 Aug 2008: Police have detained two people believed to be members of a group attempting to stop voters in Permatang Pauh from exercising their rights on polling day for the 26 Aug parliamentary by-election.

Permatang Pauh by-election media relations officer Supt Shaharon Anuar Abdul Latif said one of the suspects, a 40 year-old trader, was arrested at his food shop at Permatang Nibong at about 7.30pm two days ago. He is in remand until tomorrow.

He said the other, a 41-year-old food trader, was detained at his house at Permatang Janggus here at about 4.40pm yesterday.

"From our surveillance, we obtained information that they were attempting to intimidate, scare and use violence on residents to prevent them from going out to cast their votes," he told a press conference here today.

He said the two suspects would be investigated under section 9(1) of Election Offences Act 1954, which carries a jail term of up to two years and fine not exceeding RM5,000 or both upon conviction.

Shaharon Anuar advised voters in the constituency not to give their identity cards, which is an important document they will have to produce to be eligible to vote, to any quarters.

"So far, we have not received any reports on the matter, but we want to advise voters to be cautious and to keep their identity cards safely," he added.

Meanwhile, he said police arrested a 45-year-old man yesterday, and were looking for his friends, for allegedly intimidating workers at an operation room of the Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) in Seberang Jaya here.

MIUP presiden Datuk S. Nallakaruppan alleged that the man and a few friends had entered its premises and threatened two of its female workers there on 19 Aug.

Shaharon Anuar said that police had received 43 reports on various incidents relating to the by-election since nomination on 16 Aug.– Bernama

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