KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said polling for the 15th general election (GE15) is expected to proceed smoothly on November 19 as the authorities had made advance preparations.
He also denied accusations that the government was trying to make it difficult for voters to exercise their democratic right by holding the polls during the monsoon or on a weekday.
“People claim that (holding the election on a working day) is the government’s trick. We have set the polling date on Saturday.
“If we do it on Sunday, some states are working, same as Friday,” he told a press conference after attending a briefing by the police on preparations for GE15 and floods today.
Ismail Sabri said that preparations for polling centres and temporary relief centres (PPS) had been assigned to the relevant government agencies, adding that he hopes everyone will go out to vote in large numbers.
In response to a question from a member of the media, Ismail Sabri said 2,010 out of 6,010 PPS were also designated as polling centres by the Election Commission (EC) for GE15.
He said, however, that the authorities were ready for all eventualities and that he had authorised district officers to determine additional PPS in their areas if needed.
“It does not mean that floods will happen in all states. I hope they won’t happen. It does not mean that all 2,010 polling centres, which are also PPS, will be affected.
“But we are prepared,” he said.
Ismail Sabri spent more than two hours being briefed at Bukit Aman today by top police officers, including Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
He added that 58,227 police personnel would be deployed on polling day.
He also said 69,235 officers from the police, Malaysian Armed Forces, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Civil Defence Department and Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) were also ready for the floods.
“We will also wait for the announcement by the chief secretary to the government on whether top civil servants’ leave will be frozen.
“Usually, leave is frozen for top civil servants in December in preparation for floods,” he said.