Semenyih to vote on March 2, nomination Feb 16

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun speaks during press conference on the Cameron Highlands by-election in Putrajaya December 19, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun speaks during press conference on the Cameron Highlands by-election in Putrajaya December 19, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 18 ― The Election Commission (EC) today announced the by-election for the Semenyih state seat in Selangor will be held on March 2 and nomination on February 16. Both dates fall on a Saturday.

“The Semenyih by-election will take place on March 2, 2019 with the nomination day on February 16, 2019 while early voting will be on February 26, 2019,” EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun told a press conference here.

He added that campaigning will last 14 days.

Applications for postal voting will open on January 18 and close on February 14.

The EC has appointed Kajang Municipal Council president Datuk Mohd Sayuthi Bakar as the Returning Officer and he will be assisted by four officers.

The Dewan Seri Cempaka in Saujana Impian has been identified as the nomination centre and the official vote counting centre.

“The election registration used for this by-election is up till the third quarter of 2018 that has been updated until January 11, 2019. The registration contains 54,503 voters with 53,520 normal voters, 951 early voters and 32 overseas voters.

“We have also identified 741 disabled voters who will be voting on the first stream,” said Azhar.

The EC is deploying 992 officers to manage the by-election and there will be 119 voting streams in 26 voting centres. The by-election is estimated to cost RM1.8 million.

Azhar also said there were a few improvements in this by-election including two special streams for voters who are 60 years old and above.

“We have also extended voting time. Voting begins from 8am to 5.30pm, instead of ending at 5pm previously.

“We have added one additional voting centre with a total of 26 voting centres. We have also added 31 additional streams to avoid congestion. The total streams are 119 when compared to 88 in the last general election,” said Azhar.

Semenyih became vacant with the death of its assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) on January 11 from a suspected heart attack.

He was Hulu Langat PPBM division chief and had contested against Umno’s Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz, PAS candidate Mad Shahmidur Mat Kosim and PSM’s S. Arutchelvan in the 14th general election last year.

Bakhtiar won by a majority of 8,964 votes against closest rival Johan who obtained 14,464 votes.

Semenyih is the sixth by-election to have taken place since Pakatan Harapan defeated Barisan Nasional in the May 9, 2018 general election.

Three other by-elections since then have been held in Selangor: Sungai Kandis, Balakong and Seri Setia while another two were called in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan and currently, Cameron Highlands in Pahang.

Including Semenyih, three out of the six by-elections were due to the death of the incumbent.

When asked if the EC will conduct stringent medical check up to ensure the fitness and health of election candidates, Azhar said he will not take that step as death is unpredictable.