Thursday, February 21, 2008


807,862 to vote in Sabah polls State ranks sixth in terms of number of registered voters


More than 800,000 people in Sabah are eligible to vote in the general election next month, according to the Sabah Election Commission (EC) Chairman Hj Mohd Idrus Ismail. With a total of 807,862 registered voters, Sabah ranks sixth in terms of number of voters as compared to other states, he said during a media briefing here yesterday afternoon. Out of this figure, 13,414 or about 1.7 per cent are postal voters, comprising army and police personnel and those who are overseas. A total of 11,753. staff and officers will be dispatched to all the nomination and polling centres. There are a total of 25 nomination centres, one each in every parliamentary constituency, and 688 polling centres in 675 polling districts throughout the State. In the Federal Territory Labuan, 262 EC workers will be assigned to ‘cover 13 polling districts where a total of 20,783 voters are registered. Layangan has the highest number of voters in P166 Labuan with a total of 2,203 voters. Former PBS seat, P172 Kota Kinabalu, registered the highest number of voters for the parliamentary constituency with a total of 43,714 voters while N42 Sungai Sibuga, formerly held by incumbent Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, recorded the highest number of voters among the 60 state constituencies, with 21,442 people. . Previously held by UMNO’s Datuk Ronald Kiandee, P183 Beluran, and UPKO Bobby Suan’s N38 Nabawan, represent the lowest number of voters with 19,181 and 7,148 voters respectively. Three voting centres with the lowest number of voters will be closed at 11am, earlier than the other voting centres which will be opened until late afternoon. These voting centres are SK Salarom Pensiangan which have only 20 registered voters, Mengkasulap Community Hall in Beluran (52 voters) and SK Masaum in Kinabatangan (94 voters). Eighty polling centres in 10 constituencies will require the use of helicopters due to their remote locations, according to Idris. To ensure votes confidentiality, no media members will be allowed into nomination and polling rooms except for photographers. Any interviews can only be conducted outside these highly guarded areas, he said. The State EC Director advised those who have not checked their voting centres to do so by calling the EC Voter Centre at 088-4472 13 or via SMS by typing SPR followed by their IC number and send to 39111 or 33626 or 33333 or 32232. Registered voters can also check their polling centers by typing in their IC numbers in a section of the Election Commission website — daftarj. Mohd Idrus meanwhile advised political parties to adhere to the election regulations when conducting their ceramahs and campaigns. “Every political talk will be monitored by a three-man monitoring team, comprising an EC and a police officer and a representative from the local authority,” he said. He reminded political parties to ensure they have a police permit for their ceramahs and not touch on sensitive issues that could lead to racial or religious tensions or resort to personal or character attack on candidates. He also reminded that all campaigning materials and posters will be scrutinized by EC and political parties must clear their posters from public areas within two weeks after the election or have their deposits forfeited. The deposit for a parliamentary seat contest is RM5,000 and for a state seat, RM3,000.