Early voting kicks off in Sandakan

Police personnel wait to cast their ballots during early voting for the Sandakan by-election at the Sandakan District Police Headquarters May 7, 2019. — Picture via Twitter
Police personnel wait to cast their ballots during early voting for the Sandakan by-election at the Sandakan District Police Headquarters May 7, 2019. — Picture via Twitter

SANDAKAN, May 7 — Early voting for the Sandakan parliamentary by-election involving 270 early voters comprising police personnel, began at 8am today after two polling stations were opened.

The polling station at the Sandakan Marine Police Senior Officers’ Mess will open until 2 pm, while the polling station at the Sandakan District Police Headquarters (IPD) Clubhouse will open until noon.

The agents of the candidates and election observers from organisations and NGOs appointed by the Election Commission (EC) will witness the early voting, while the EC will carry live streaming of the voting process on its Facebook page.

The Sandakan parliamentary constituency has two state constituencies, namely Tanjong Papat and Elopura with a total of 40,131 eligible voters of which 39,856 are ordinary voters, five absentee voters and the rest early voters.

Of the total, 51 per cent are Chinese voters, 45 per cent Muslim bumiputeras, while the remaining comprise other races.

A total of 19,857 voters or 49.48 per cent of the total number of voters are males while 20,274 or 50.52 per cent are female voters.

This is the eighth by-election since the 14th general election (GE-14) on May 9 last year, with the first held at Sungai Kandis on Aug 4, Balakong and Seri Setia (Sept 8), Port Dickson (Oct 13), Cameron Highlands (Jan 26), Semenyih (March 2) and Rantau (April 13).

The Sandakan parliamentary by-election will see a five-cornered fight between Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee of DAP; Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin and three independents comprising former Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) Sabah founder Hamzah Abdullah; businessman Chia Siew Yung; and former officer at the Sandakan parliamentary constituency service center, Sulaiman Samat.

The Sandakan parliamentary seat fell vacant after the incumbent Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt died of a heart attack on March 28. — Bernama