TANJUNG MALIM – Miscommunication might be the cause of the incident of voters in shorts disallowed from entering the polling station at the Slim state by-election today, said the Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.
Explaining further, he said that the matter should not be a problem because as far as he is concerned, the people involved did not breach any rules.
“This is perhaps a slight miscommunication. Wearing shorts should not be a problem. Those who can’t enter are the ones who wear clothes bearing the party logo or in revealing clothes, but wearing shorts, in my view, is still allowed.
“We hope these voters will return to cast votes. Don’t be disheartened. In terms of regulations, there is no problem, perhaps a slight error in the implementation,” he told reporters at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Aminuddin Baki, here today.
He was commenting on an incident in SK Aminuddin Baki this morning, where several people who turned up in shorts were not allowed into the polling station, and were seen tearing their voter information cards given by the EC out of anger.
It is understood that after being persuaded, some of them returned and were allowed entry, while there were some who came back in long pants to cast their ballots.
Meanwhile, he said that although EC already advise voters the best time to come to vote through the voter’s card, it was found that voters tend to go with their family.
“If we look at the trend, even though they are given recommended voting times, they tend to come with family members. We issue voter’s cards due to the Movement Control Order which is in force, to avoid overcrowding at the respective polling channels,” he said.
Commenting on political parties still appealing for votes this morning, he said that it should not happen as campaigning period ended last night.
“Sometimes, they put up a tent and if it aims at providing facilities, especially in terms of medicines, then there should be no problem as it is for their safety,” he said.
Abdul Ghani also said that the EC is hopeful that it can reach its target of 85 per cent voter turnout for the Slim by-election.
As at 1 pm, about 41 per cent out of 22,749 registered voters have cast their ballots.
“I urge all registered voters to come out and cast their ballots,” he said.
He also urged eligible voters among youngsters to go out and vote in today’s by-election.
“A bit of slow movement at channels five and six. So I urge young voters to come and cast their ballots, to fulfil their responsibility today,” he added.
Abdul Ghani also reminded voters to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) as the country is still placed under the Recovery Movement Control Order, and to look after their safety such as maintaining physical distancing and using hand sanitiser to avoid any unnecessary issues when they return home to their family.
The Slim state by-election is a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional candidate Mohd Zaidi Aziz and two Independent candidates, namely S. Santharasekaran and Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi.