EC: Sandakan by-election on May 11, nomination on April 27

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 5, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 5, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, April 5 — Polling for the Sandakan parliamentary seat in Sabah will be on May 11, the Election Commission (EC) announced today.

Nomination day will be on April 27, it added, allowing for a campaign period of 14 days.

Early polling is on May 7, EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun told a news conference at the commission’s headquarters here.

The by-election was called following the death of its incumbent Stephen Wong, 64, from a heart attack on March 28.

Wong was Sandakan MP from 2013 and until his death was also Sabah minister for health and public well-being.

The Sandakan by-election is estimated to cost RM3.1 million, the EC chief said.

Azhar said a few changes have been made to improve the voting process this time.

These include introducing two special channels at each of the voting centres for citizens aged 60 and above and for the disabled.

He also voting will be extended by half an hour, from 8am to 5.30pm.

Azhar said the electoral roll last updated on March 28 with a total of 40,131 voters will be used. Of that figure, 39,856 are regular voters, 270 qualify as early voters and five voters who live abroad and qualify as absentee voters.

He said the electoral roll will be available for sale from April 22.

Azhar said voters can find out their voting centres and voting channels through the EC website, or call call 03-88927018, SMS 15888 or by using the MySPR Semak application from April 22.

He said SMJK Tiong Hua will be the nomination and counting centre.

Azhar said the EC has set up four election campaign enforcement teams to monitor all election campaign activities. Each unit will have representatives from the police, local town councils and the respective contesting candidate as well as an EC officer.

To ease the nomination process, he urged potential candidates to fill up and check the forms with the managerial office or with the EC office of Sabah, which can be done starting from April 22.

For matters relating to postal votes within and outside the country, Azhar said the opening and closing dates for applications are April 5 and April 25 respectively.

The deputy president of the Sandakan Municipal Council Hamsan Awang Supain is the appointed by-election chief officer and will be aided by five others.

The EC will have a total of 770 staff to manage the by-election at 21 voting centres throughout the constituency.