Saturday, 17 January 2009

Live coverage of polling day in KT by Malaysiakini


9.20pm: The EC is expected to announce official results at any time now. Only PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut is present. No BN leaders are seen at the main tally centre at the Kuala Terengganu state stadium.

9.10pm: According EC official tally: PAS (32,393 votes), BN (29,969), Independent (191) with two more boxes to be tallied.

9.05pm: PAS leaders on the other hand, led by party president Abdul Hadi Awang, are heading towards the counting centre at Stadium Negeri to wait for the official announcement

9.04pm: Terengganu MB's official residence is still bereft of any top BN/Umno leaders. DPM Najib was supposed to be here at 8pm. The whereabouts of both and BN candidate Wan Ahmad Farid is unknown. At the residence, MB Ahmad Said is huddled with about 20 of his supporters.

8.55pm: Latest count - BN has reduced PAS' lead to 1,751 votes - PAS (28,249), BN (26,498), Independent (160). With another 9,000 votes to be counted, it is very unlikely for BN to stop PAS.

Thousands of PAS supporters have gathered outside the main tally centre at the Kuala Terengganu state stadium.

Meanwhile, the official Election Commission tally has PAS leading by 543 votes - PAS (24,004), BN (21,461), Independent (136). This is based on 100 polling boxes while 44 boxes yet to tallied.

8.45pm: According PAS leaders, the party has won Kuala Terengganu by a majority of 1,600 votes. It is learnt that PAS has won in all four state constituencies. In the last general election, the party won three of the four state constituencies.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is to call a press conference soon.

8.35pm: Unofficial - PAS now leads by 2,132 votes with 52,466 votes counted so far - PAS (26,971), BN (24,839), Independent (152). Another 20 percent of votes, or about 10,000 votes, yet to be counted.
PAS is certain to win the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election with this unassailable lead.

8.20pm: BN sources say the party is ready to admit defeat.

Meanwhile, the EC official board at the main tally centre is now showing PAS leading - PAS (18,532 votes), BN (18,364), Independent (119). This tally is based on 85 boxes while 59 yet to be tallied.

8.16pm: With 48,842 votes counted, PAS has extended its lead over BN by 2,224 votes. PAs garnered 24,604 votes while BN has 22,380. Independent is way back with 142. There are about 15,000 votes left to be counted

8.13pm: Unofficial PAS has won the Bandar state seat by 190-vote majority. This is the only state seat the party lost in the March general election. About 80 percent of the Chinese voters in the Kuala Terengganu constitutency are from Bandar.

8.08pm: Latest unofficial count: PAS increased lead to 2,026 votes. PAS (23,640 votes), BN (21,614), Independent (136). About 30 percent of votes yet to be tallied.Meanwhile, the Election Commission's unofficial tally has BN still leading - BN (15,385 votes), PAS (15,189), Independent (92). This tally is from 70 boxes while another 74 have yet to be tallied.

7.55pm: EC's unofficial tally put's BN in the lead with 11,120 votes. PAS has 10,802 votes while Independent has 69. This tally is from 50 boxes received, with 94 boxes yet to come in.

7.48pm: PAS is now leading by 1,554 votes. Its candidate has garnered 22,030 votes as opposed to BN's 20,476. Independent candidate has bagged 134 votes so far.

7.42pm: PAS has now obtained 19,487 votes, leading by a 1,007-vote majory over BN which has gained 18,480. Independent has 117 votes. PAS is also leading in all four state constituencies.

7.40pm: PAS has extended its lead to 1,078 votes. Latest count from sources - PAS (18,934 votes), BN (17,907), Independent (113).The official Election Commission tally board has BN in the lead with less than 10,000 votes being counted - BN (4,676 votes), PAS (3,966), Independent (26).

7.26pm: It is learnt that Deputy Prime Minister Najib has asked all BN leaders, including the BN candidate, to assemble at Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Said's official residence at 8pm.

7.25pm: PAS is leading by 778 votes. PAS (16,795 votes), BN (16,795), Independent (107). PAS is slightly ahead in all four state constitutencies.

7.15pm: PAS has increased its lead to 530 votes. PAS (16,237 votes), BN (15,707), Independent (89). Another 50 percent of votes yet to be tallied.

Latest count: BN, PAS at neck-and-neck

7.06pm: EC's unofficial voter turnout is 79.73 percent (63,967 voters).

7.05pm: PAS is now leading by 158 votes - PAS (14,802 votes), BN (14,644). According to inside sources, PAS is leading in all areas except the Ladang state constituency. There are hundreds of PAS supporters outside the state stadium where the main tally centre is located. Few Umno supporters spotted.

7.04pm: Unofficial result for postal votes - BN (1.039 votes), PAS (86) and Independent (1).

6.40pm: Unofficial results - According to inside sources, of the 14,370 votes counted so far, BN is leading by 259. Another 80 percent of votes yet to be counted.

Malaysiakini is going live with the coverage of the Kuala Terengganu by-election. News are updated as they come in.

Earlier report:

Malaysiakini team Jan 17, 09 9:00am

5pm: Polling is closed at all 38 polling centres for the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

4.55pm: EC said that as at 4pm, the voter turnout stood at 76 percent. That means 60,794 of the 80,229 voters have voted so far.

4.45pm: PAS candidate's agent Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah claimed that he received reports regarding BN trying to "sneak in phantom voters in the final hour" of the polling day."It is quite strange, because starting at 2pm today, the voters' streams are getting slower and at some parts, there were no queues at all.

"But FRU started to line up in front of school's gates. What are their motives? In the morning, when the turnout was high, there was not a single FRU personnel in sight!" he said.

Wan Sukairi said such incidents occurred at Ladang, Sekolah Menengah Bandar and Durian Burung. He however was positive on PAS winning the by-election despite a 'lower turnout' this time around.He also said PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid was currently riding on his motorcycle from a polling station to another to monitor the situation.Meanwhile BN candidate's agent refused to comment when contacted.

4.30pm: Malaysiakini observation: A quick survey of polling stations between 4pm and 4.30pm indicated that PAS campaigners were outnumbering the BN people.

Many BN campaigners in these stations were seen resting and appeared unenthusiastic compared to PAS party workers.PAS has also lined-up a team of lawyers on the streets in case of a need for legal help.The voter flow also appeared to be slow in some of these stations.

4.15pm: NST reports the unofficial voter turnout stands at 72 percent. The EC will give its official figure at 6pm.

4.10pm: Independent candidate Azharuddin is nowhere in sight and could not be contacted as his mobile phone is switched off.

4.05pm: When contacted, election observers Mafrel said that many party supporters were still campaigning at the polling centres despite it being against the election laws to be campaigning today.

"It is even more disappointing when they are using minors to campaign today," said Mafrel's BK Ong.He added that the party candidates should have made public their expenses during the 11 days of campaigning, including "the use of public facilities".

3.30pm: PAS's official organ Harakah reported that Putera Umno chief Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim was ‘caught' by PAS monitoring team trying to pass himself off as an election agent.

The report said that the incident happened this morning at 10.45am at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pusat Cabang Tiga, Bandar. Abdul Azeez was reportedly using a BN agent pass belonging to one Ibrahim Omar. PAS is expected to lodge a police report on the matter soon.

However when contacted by Malaysiakini, Abdul Azeez denied being ‘caught' by anyone from PAS, stating that it was a mischevious lies. He added that he has been at the Tok Ku polling centre, also in Bandar since morning.

Tok Ku polling centre is about 600 metres away from the Cabang Tiga centre.

3.10pm: A check at several polling stations indicates an unexpected low turnout. Weather still holding.

2.30pm: NST reports: Deputy Umno Wanita leader Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is busy making her rounds to monitor the by-election along with Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz.

2.10pm: Campaigners continue their final push under the scorching afternoon sun. Our team members describe the heat as the worst over the past 10 days.

2.00pm: Turnout is reported at only 56 per cent. PAS is concerned as they feel that this may give rise to phantom voters. They did not elaborate on how this could take place.

1pm: According to RTM, 44 per cent of voters have turned out to vote.

12:43pm Worried that their ballot papers would be accidentaly spoilt after they were folded by EC officials, voters in SK Bukit Losong polling station made a report to EC and the officials were later instructed not to do so.

Earlier, Malaysian for free and fair election (Mafrel) reported that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and some BN supporters entered the polling station even though they have no right to do so. This resulted in a protest by some PAS supporters.

12 noon: As of this hour, 42 per cent of the 80,229 electorates have cast their votes, according to the EC chair. Polling closes at 5pm.

11.45am: mStar reports: Election Commission chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof says indelible ink may be used in the next general election. "We are currently doing our research to go on with the use of indelible ink", he said after paying a visit to polling station at Sekolah Menengah Tunku Bariah.

11.25am: Under the watchful eyes of dozens of police officers, the polling station in Kubang Ikan
is calm and BN/PAS pondok panas seem to attract equal numbers of voters.

11.20am: Election Commission officials says they hope for a high turnout among the 80,229 voters who are eligible to cast their ballots, according to AFP. They say that the short lines of voters at polling booths during the morning was normal and that the pace will pick up in the afternoon.

11am: Weather still holding although rain is expected in the afternoon. Most polling stations report brisk polling. No uneventful incident reported.

10.20am: Mostly women supporters from both sides seen outside the five polling stations within the Ladang state seat. These are Malay areas. Situation calm. Heavy police presence at schools. Traffic jams due to campaigning in front of schools.

10.03am: NST reports: In SK Chabang Tiga, BN party workers look worried as a majority of voters are seen stopping at the Pakatan Rakyat pondok panas before entering the polling station.

9.50am: At Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman where the Chinese voters of Kg Cina cast their votes, turnout is brisk. Many are seen quietly in queue. Outside, some 50 supporters of both camps are separated by police. Atmosphere is friendly. MCA leaders Dr Chua Soi Lek, Liow Tiong La, Wong Foon Meng are here. Also sighted are DAP's Ronnie Liew, PKR's Tian Chua and PAS' Annuar Tan.

9.27am: Bernama reports: Traffic in the city under control, with vehicles carrying party flags seen plying the streets. Police personnel station themselves in strategic locations. The Election Commission expects a 90 per cent voter turnout.

9.00am: Over at SK Pusat Chabang Tiga station, about 100 PAS and Umno supporters seen on both sides of road waving flags and placards. PAS group comprises mainly elderly women while Umno seems to be dominated by Puteri members. They exchange shouts with PAS' Allahu-akbar while Umno replies with "PAS kluk klek", "PAS bohong."

8.50am: Big groups of BN supporters armed with party flags start converging outside SK Bukit Besar. Shouts of Allahu-akbar and 'Hidup BN' heard.

8.30 am: Weather reported good throughout KT when polling started. Morning is cool although some parts are cloudy. Large groups of policemen seen outside some polling stations.

8.15am: After voting, Wan Farid told reporters outside, "God willing, voters will choose intelligently and vote for continuity through BN'

7.50am: BN's Wan Ahmad Farid arrives at the SK Bukit Besar. Together with his wife, Intan Baizura, they voted at 8.05am.

7.45am: PAS candidate Wahid Endut arrives at SK Pusat Chabang Tiga polling station. Accompanied by his wife and five of his nine children, he says he wants to be the first voter at the station. - Malaysiakini

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