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Friday, May 30, 2014

Teluk Intan heats up, 47pct has voted by 1pm


In the most fiercely contested by-election since the 13th general elections, DAP's Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud faces off with BN's Mah Siew Keong.

Malaysiakini brings you the live reports of the polling and counting as it unfolds.

PHOTO GALLERY

LIVE REPORTS

1.30pm: According to the EC, at 1pm the turnout rate is 46.65 percent or 27,955 voters.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang tweets that the final turnout may be around 70 percent, which will not be good news for DAP's chances.

"This is dangerous for DAP and Pakatan as our candidate can only be safe if voter turnout is over 80 percent," says the Gelang Patah MP.

1.10pm: The EC says 40.13 percent or 24,050 voters have cast their votes as at noon today, reports Bernama.

12.30pm: Media Centre - BN candidate Mah Siew Keong claims that Malaysiakini did not accurately report his remarks yesterday regarding outstation voters in Teluk Intan.

"You need to look at the context of the whole speech," Mah says, referring to a report yesterday where Mah urged locals not to let outstation voters decide the fate of Teluk Intan.

"I did not say they are outsiders, they are also children of this place. I just said they should consult their parents before making a decision," he explains.

Mah, who visited all the polling districts this morning, says the turnout at DAP stronghold Pasir Bedamar is extremely high, but predicts the overall turnout to be also high at the end of the day.

"There are still many cars from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor coming in. And also many people are working half-day in the estates today.

"There will be more people voting in the afternoon," he says.

11.15am: EC chairman Abdul Aziz Yusoff brushes off the standoff(watch video) at Kampung Bahagia as "not serious" since things "did not get physical".

"I attribute this to the small road leading up the school," he says during a press conference at the media operations room at a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) building along Jalan Changkat Jong.

Abdul Aziz also says that 13,754 voters have turned up as of 10am, with a 23 percent turnout so far.

"We are looking at 10 percent an hour turnout rate," he says, indicating a healthy turnout.

11.14am: MCA Wanita chief Heng Seai Kie calls on the by-election to be a "referendum" against PAS' attempts to implement its hudud enactment passed in 1993.

"I urge voters to use the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election as the first ever referendum to reject the proposed implementation of PAS hudud law.

"This will be an initiative for non-Muslim voters to make a firm stance to oppose PAS hudud law," she says in a statement this morning.

"Voting for Barisan Nasional candidate Mah Siew Keong will also be an opportunity to deliberately reject the implementation of PAS hudud law as demanded by PAS, and supported by DAP," she adds.

However, in her entire statement she fails to mention that BN's Umno leaders have been encouraging PAS on the move and has even formed a technical committee with the opposition party to look into the matter.

"Only by selecting Mah Siew Keong on the ballot slip, will Teluk Intan voters be able to express their resolute stance against the implementation of PAS hudud law," says Heng in their traditional campaign issue blamed squarely on DAP and PAS.

11.10am: Kampung Kerentina - A BN campaign worker stopsMalaysiakini's journalist from taking free booklets and flyers from the ruling coalition's counter set up outside the polling station.

"You are fromMalaysiakini, you spin (stories) all the time, so you can't take these," he says.

When the journalist points out it is for free distribution, the man replies, "Yes it's free, but you can't have it."

The flyers are about photographs of Dyana and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, accusing them of being traitors, while the booklet's cover depicts Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, but its contents are unknown.

Meanwhile, Perak Mentri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir arrives and shakes hands with the campaigners.

At the same time, as PAS supporters hold up Dyana's posters and urge passes by to vote for Dyana, a lady clad in Puteri Umno uniform answers back, "Sister, she (Dyana) doesn't support hudud."

10.45am: Jalan Padang Tembak - Traffic begins choking up along Jalan Padang Tembak, the main road heading towards the town where a few polling centre at schools are located.

While most of the vehicles sport Perak and KL number plates, a few are from Johor and Penang.

At least two polling centres are located along this road.

At SMK Sultan Abdul Samad polling centre, two outstation voters and siblings arrive at the polling centre.

"I doubt if my vote will bring change, but I want  more opposition voices in Parliament," says Khor, 31, the younger sister.

The internet savvy accountant says BN candidate Mah Siew Keong's "outsider" statement has infuriated Teluk Intan netizens, who say he shouldn't have said it.

But when asked if these angry netizens are coming back to vote, she says many of them have changed their voting addresses out of Teluk Intan.

"As for me, the polling date coincides with the school holidays and I can bring my children to visit my mother.

While she does not know her mother's voting inclination, she says the latter is surrounded by a group of aunties who want to bring change to the country.

"So, she might be influenced also. (Although) elder people tend to vote for those who had helped the community those day," she says.

10.30am: Kampung Bahagia - The BN and DAP supporters are still trading barbs at each other, while using nasty language.

The DAP camp is relatively calm with only two or three people responding to the BN youths shouting and heckling under the hot sun.

Police are watching over the standoff calmly.

10.15am: SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz - At the urban polling station of Jalan Batak Rabit Utara, BN and its supporters team are barely seen on the ground.

Appanah Butchiah, 77, together with his wife say they will vote for BN candidate Mah Siew Keong, a person they think is able to bring development to Teluk Intan, a town that has quietened down for at least two decades after tin mining there dried up.

"BN has been helping the poor, they help me too, I am poor," he says.

He says he knew people were getting hampers, but he didn't manage to get one.

Jalan Batak Rabit Utara is a big polling district, with 75 percent Chinese, 15 percent Indian and 10 percent Malay. The last general election saw DAP winning a whopping 76 percent votes here.

10.15am: SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz -One of the buses arranged by DAP arrives from Kuala Lumpur with about 10 voters.

A card bearing words like 'Jom Balik Undi, Vote Wisely, Vote for the future of the our country' is placed at the bus dashboard.

None of the voters are willing to be interviewed by the press outside the school compound.

10am: SK Kampung Bahagia - It does not take long for BN and arch-enemy DAP supporters to start butting heads, with two groups 5m apart separated by two four wheel drives.

BN supporters fume when a DAP supporter hangs up a bunch of kangkung and a RM1 note at the end of a pole.

"Hey, take down that kangkung! DAP celaka (damn DAP)," shouts some of the BN supporters.

10am: SMK Sultan Azlan Shah - Two online journalists break into an argument with an EC officer who requests the press to leave the school compound.

The female officer, whose name is unidentified, claims the six-member press group has "disturbed" the voters.

The journalists, who are standing in front of a corridor, explain that they are merely waiting for Dyana's visit.

They are eventually allowed to stay after a policeman comes forward and talks to the EC officer.

Earlier, some photographers complain that they are barred from taking photographs at the compound.

9.50am: SJKC Phooi Yong - BN candidate Mah Siew Keong visits the polling centre and tells reporters that he would accept full responsibility if he loses.

He also says that he has not gotten any sleep, as the final leg of the campaign was "exhausting".

Meanwhile, Dyana in her visit earlier tells reporters that she is having "little butterflies" in her stomach, and that she was "overwhelmed" by the 10,000 turnout at yesterday's grand finale ceramah.

9.40am: SJKC Chong Min - The DAP stronghold's urban polling centre has been quiet, with most showing up this morning being elderly and middle-aged voters.

Young voters are barely seen thus far.

Bagan DAP branch chief Kaw Nang Hua, 53, tellsMalaysiakini he and other friends have volunteers to drive the outstation voters back to vote.

"I live in Sabak Bernam fishing village. I drove several Teluk Intan voters who are staying there back to vote," he says.

He knows over ten people have done the same, doing this for the sake of bringing change to the future generation, he says.

9am: According to Bernama, Perak Election Commission (EC) director Ahmad Adli Abdullah expects more than 80 percent voters to turn out and cast their votes today.

Meanwhile, weather in Teluk Intan is forecast to be sunny in the morning but the Malaysian Meteorology Department has forecast rain in the afternoon.

9.15am: SRK Methodist Girls School, Jalan Cangkat Jong -Pasir Berdamar assemblyperson Terence Naidu shows up to cast his ballot with Dyana, who is wearing a bright pink songket.

When teased why she is dressed in Umno Puteri colours, she smiles saying, "Oh, this is not about the colour, it's just the songket material."

9.15am: SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz - All male officers of the Election Commission (EC) are spotted wearing songkok bertoha - a black songkok with silver ribbon - while performing their duties, to mourn the late Perak Sultan Azlan Shah.

One of the officers, who declines to be named, said about 100 of them have to wear the songkok throughout the whole polling day.

Meanwhile, Mah and his wife Yeoh Pooi Hoon arrive and cast their ballots here.

Some 30 photographers are seen pushing one another and shouting while taking shots of Mah casting his vote, prompting police to rush forward to control the group.

9am: Pasir Bedamar - SJK(C) Phooi Yang is a beehive of morning activity as voters stream in to cast their ballots. However there is no long queue to check their voting streams. There are six streams in this voting centre.

Dyana visits with Lim Kit Siang, the latter obliging for photo opportunities with those who have cast their votes.

8.40am: SK Sultan Abdul Aziz - At the urban polling centre, the situation is quite calm with some 20 BN supporters still trying last ditch efforts to persuade voters to support Mah.

A woman clad in BN T-shirt is spotted trying to offer bottles of mineral water to the constituents.

They even flash 'I love BN' placards showing affection to BN.

DAP supporters are barely seen here for now.

4,070 voters will cast their votes here at Taman Seri Setia, where the late DAP MP Seah Leong Peng won 63.6 percent at the last general election.

There are 36 percent Malay voters, 45 percent Chinese and 19 percent Indians in this district.

Voter Joselin Chan tells Malaysiakini despite the BN campaign offers of development for the town and a ministerial post for Mah if he wins, she is unmoved.

"I will cast my vote for the future. I don't like racial politics," she says.

8.50am: SRK Methodist Girls School - Voting here starts slowly in orderly fashion. An elderly lady arrives to vote and EC staff assist to get her on a wheelchair.

The Rakyat Post journalist and local Ahmad Fazlan Shah (left) goes in to cast his ballot before beginning his coverage, emerging to show off his indelible ink mark.

There are 1,920 voters in this district comprising streams 1 to 4.

8.45am: SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz - Constituents are seen lining up to check their voting streams, with others having cast their ballots earlier.

Traffic policemen are deployed at each of the road junctions around the school.

No party supporters are seen outside this as well as another Chinese primary school SJKC Chong Min across from it, as the authorities have put up a notice that no campaigning is allowed.

8.15am: Pasir Bedamar, SJKC San Min - It's sunny with clear skies this morning. With all the excite over the past week, the morning mood is relatively calm and quiet for the moment.

Polling has started since 8am, with a steady stream of voters in what is traditionally a DAP stronghold.

DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud arrives at the school, one of the polling stations in Pasir Bedamar, with other party leaders.

Not being a voter here, the Ipoh-born candidate is expected to visit other polling stations in both Pasir Bedamar and Changkat Jong.

Meanwhile, Teluk Intan-born BN candidate Mah Siew Keong will be arriving at SMK Sultan Abdul Aziz to cast his ballot by 9am.

8am: Pasir Bedamar - DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud is scheduled to visit her first polling centre at SJKC San Min 1 & 2.

They are banking on outstation and young voters to shore up their vote bank, while BN chief Najib Razak promised to make Mah a minister to sweeten the deal for BN voters.

7.30am: In the most fiercely contested by-election since the 13th general elections last May, Perak's southernmost parliamentary constituency Teluk Intan will see DAP's Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud face off with BN's Mah Siew Keong.

Dyana, a 27-year-old lawyer, has created much excitement as DAP's choice, but it remains to be seen if the political secretary of Lim Kit Siang will see her popularity translated into votes.

BN's Mah, who is Gerakan president is a two term Teluk Intan MP (1999 to 2008), but lost in both the 2008 and 2013 general elections to DAP.

DAP's Seah Leong Peng defeated Mah in the last general election with a majority of 7,313 votes, but passed away on May 1 due to cancer.

This is the sixth by-election to take place since GE13, and the second parliamentary by-election after the Bukit Gelugor poll just last week.

Mah has campaigned on themes of local issues such as local council services, while Dyana has focussed on national issues such as living costs and the impending Goods and Services Tax (GST).

There are 60,483 registered voters in Teluk Intan: 42 percent Chinese, 38 percent Malays, 19 percent Indians.

The last general election saw an 80.4 percent turnout, the highest ever recorded in this constituency.

There are 37 voting centres open from 8am to 5pm, with the exception of one - Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Sungai Timah - which will close at 4pm due to small number of voters there.

The counting will be held at SMK Abdul Rahman Talib from 5pm onwards, with results expected by 9pm if the process runs smoothly.

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