Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sibu By-Election - The Countdown Begins



DAP's Wong Ho Leng is the new MP for Sibu, wresting the seat previously held by BN(SUPP)

Returning Officer finally announcing results:
PAKATAN RAKYAT/ DAP won by 398 votes

DAP 18845
BN 18447
Majority - 398

That's all for now. Goodnight Malaysia. Sleep well.
Appreciation and thanks to
Anil's blog AND to Lina Soo on LINASOO blog for referencing the updates on the election results throughout polling day.
-Malaysian Unplug


That's it!!!

10.50 pm

DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng arrives at the counting centre with Lim Guan Eng

Malaysian Insider reports DAP wins with majority of 398
DAP wins with 18845, BN 18447, Ind 232

Total ballots issued: 2827
BN 2323,
DAP 70,
Ind 36..
Rejected: 208. Unreturned: 190

Postal votes for DAP was reduced by 17 in EC's official tally.

Official announcement to be made at the Civic Centre

"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." (Josef Stalin), EC proving Stalin correct?

Utusan Malaysia reports (10.13 pm)
Calon DAP, Wong Ho Leng menang pada pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Sibu selepas menewaskan calon Barisan Nasional (BN), Robert Lau Hui Yew dan calon Bebas, Narawi Haron dengan majoriti 2,651 undi.
Ho Leng yang juga Pengerusi DAP Sarawak memperoleh 18,775 undi manakala Robert Lau 16,124 undi manakala Narawi hanya memperoleh 196 undi.arawi juga hilang wang pertaruhan.
10.20 pm
EC finally gave the Form 15 to DAP. There was a small discrepancy in the postal vote results,but it was accept under protest by DAP,

One analyst wrote:
This silence and reluctance by the SPR to keep the public fully informed about what is happening or to announce the results forthwith does not inspire public confidence in their professionalism. This only undermines their role in the eyes of the public and makes it even more difficult for them to oversee future elections.
10.15 pm
EC Officer said postal vote result was given to BN but the same postal vote result was NOT given to the DAP.

EC officials tried to carry and move all the 11 postal ballot boxes away, without first giving DAP the Form 15 which confirms the official tally for the by-election.

10.05 pm
Is this Sibu by-election going be an Election Commission scandal??

Bernama earlier reported there are 2,537 postal votes.
But now Malaysiakini reports there are 2,572 postal ballots.

According to PR's Sivarajah, No recount at this stage. Recount only at count at saluran level. Reference to Regulaions 25(13) of conduct of elections regulaions 1981

10.00 pm
BN 16124
DAP 18775
IND 196
Majority 2651 for DAP.
Postal votes not tallied.

9.35 pm
EC still refuses to confrm postal votes result. It is now more than 1.5 hrs after counting completed

Malaysiakini reports:
The counting of postal votes has ended. However, DAP scrutineers are unable to get Form 15 - the official tally signed by the returning officer.
It is understood that BN has won by 2,300 in the postal votes.
This will translate into a DAP victory with a margin of 300 votes.
9.30 pm
Policemen all entering counting centre.

Terence Netto reports:
If you add the figures of the unofficial tally DAP 18570, BN 15980 and independent 201, you get 34751 - which is MORE than the votes cast of 32742!
9.25 pm
Suspicions raised why EC holding back official result.
EC's prediction was an 80% voter turnout. As it stands now, with less than 60%, they still cannot give an announcement, said one analyst.

Bernama had reported earlier:At the close of polls at 5pm today, only 32,742 registered voters bothered to cast their ballots, or 59.86%, said the EC.

Now, Malaysiakini reports that the Election Commission chief has sent an SMS saying that voter turnout "could be MORE than 60 per cent".

Kit Siang thinks EC "up to some tricks"

Public accountability demands that the EC at least tell the public what is happening. This kind of silence is unhelpful.

After claiming victory DAP leaders now holding their breath with postal votes untallied and turnout expected to be revised upwards.

9.15 pm
EC holding back on official results.

Concern raised in DAP camp. Postal votes are being tallied at Wisma Sanyan. Kit Siang, Guan Eng and PR MPs heading there to see what's happening.

Two ballot boxes inside counting centre "missing".

9.00 pm
DAP 18570
BN 15980
IND 201
Majority 2590. Postal votes not counted.
109 out of 110 boxes counted.

8.45 pm
DAP leaders arriving at counting centre.

Comment from political analysts:
I forgot to mention vote-buying aka bribes. It's a real pity that the Malaysian EC is blind to vote-buying and bribes in exchange for votes.

And if anyone has bribed, it has been PM Najib who said openly while offering cash for projects, "You give me what I want, I give you what you want".Unfortunate for the whole country's reputation really.

It only suggests that elections here are not won on merit or on any policy-debate. Instead, elections here are debased and won on the basis of blackmail, project bribes and cash handouts. Indeed, we are not far away from Zimbabwe.

That was disgraceful behaviour on the part of the PM. Totally unbecoming of his office.

Comment from a Malaysian overseas:
this election is watched by many Malaysians in NEw Zealand.
Thanks you Sibu.... You made us believe that there are many Malaysians out there who has a sense of fair play and has a standard higher than money politics

DAP WON but majority between 100-300. Re-count possible.
BN leaders left tallying centre but DAP CEC has yet to declare victory.
However individual DAP leaders like Jeff Ooi and Anthony Loke admitted victory
Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong admitted defeat.

A reader's comment on Malaysia's electoral process:
The UK has a much longer history and richer tradition of democracy than we do. And there is ultimately deeper respect for the culture and institution of elections. Winners celebrate and losers congratulate. ANd everyone goes home satisfied that the Elections Commission in the UK did their job professionally.

In many developing countries, the same cannot be said since Elections Commissions often are heavily compromised. Zimbabwe is a classic example. And if the Malaysian EC does not watch it, it will follow down that slippery path as well.

As I said earlier, the EC has to get its act together. Its professional credibility is at stake. One cannot simply move voters arbitrarily from one constituency to another nor can we sustain the current discredited process of postal voting.

8.25 pm
Kit Siang reported BN leaders left the counting centre virtually admitting defeat.
But postal ballot still to be counted

In counting centre only police. no sign of BN leaders.

OFFICIAL result update:
DAP 15493
BN 13425
95 of 110 boxes reported.
Majority for DAP 2068

Jeff Ooi has declared victory for DAP.

8.20 pm
DAP camp seem to be celebrating already! Too premature?
Seven boxes still to be counted

DAP (Anthony Loke) predicts PR set to win by wafer thin majority.
Probably less than one hundred!

In SMK Kg Nangka Jln Tun Openg (Pelawan) from 5 streams:
DAP got 1143 votes (2008 - 944)
BN 686 (2008 - 703)

8.15 pm
DAP 17120
BN 13841

DAP now leads 3,279
Waiting for confirmation from OyaLane, Illir Nangka and postal votes.
95.5% votes counted

In SJK Tmn Rajang (Pelawan) from 5 streams:
DAP got 1218 votes (2008 - 1023)
BN 560 (2008 - 618)

8.10 pm
DAP 17120
BN 13656
From 99 of 110 streams: 95.49 % COUNTED

7.55 pm
Majority 3130,
93.9% votes counted

7.50 pm
DAP 16476
BN 13375
Majority 3101 unofficial.
2809 postal votes not counted
95 of 110 boxes counted

7.45 pm
Advice to Pakatan leaders from readers:
Pakatan has a mountain to climb in Sarawak as far as the rural seats are concerned. If they think otherwise, they are delusional.

I think Pakatan needs to do some soul-searching. Win or lose. They really need to review their organisational set-up in each constituency.

There is just too much opportunistic people in Pakatan who are gung-ho wanna politicians but who are not really serious about doing legwork to set up the organisational backbone of the party. Their electoral machinery is also not in the best of shapes. DAP and PAS have got good operational set-ups but PKR?.

Organisationally, PKR is a mess. And if PKR wants to go anywhere, they need to look into this. For example, why were PKR campaigners turned away from various longhouses? Well, because the local residents did not know who they were. They only appeared during the elections. And that really, is a big negative for PKR.

And they really need better people in the party than all these turncoat opportunists like Wee Choo Keong, Zulkifli, etc,etc,

Pakatan still has yet to do an honest post-mortem on why they lost Batang Ai. They just shrugged their shoulders, put it down to a weak candidate and walked away... And it is this kind of inability to self-criticise that will undermine Pakatan.

7.40 pm
BN 13156

From 94 of 110 streams

In SK AbangAli Kg Baharu Sibu (Nangka) from 3 streams:
DAP got 511 votes (2008 - 383)
BN 303 (2008 - 299)

7.35 pm
The finish line is approaching.

7.30 pm
DAP 15655
BN 12838
From 90 of 110 stresm: 87.9% OF VOTES COUNTED

In Seduan (Nangka) from 6 streams:
DAP got 638 votes (2008 - 544)
BN 995 (2008 - 975)

In Teku (Nangka) from 3 streams:
DAP got 473 votes (2008 - 329)
BN 333 (2008 - 419)

In SJK Methodist (Nangka) from 4 streams:
DAP got 222 votes (2008 - 172)
BN 701 (2008 - 637)

Postal votes counting in progress.. BN's camp did the SPR deputy chairman.
Too close to call now..

7.15 pm
BN: 12047

From 83 of 110 streams

7.10 pm
Postal votes yet to be counted

DAP: 12966
BN 11389

From 78 of 110 streams

7.00 pm
DAP: 10773
BN: 9229

For 66 out of 110 polling streams, or about 61% of votes, have been counted.

In SMK Rosli Dhobi (Pelawan) from 3 streams
DAP got 554 votes (2008 - 465)
BN 279 (2008 - 291).

In Tadika Taman Rajang (Pelawan) from 6 streams
DAP got 1,606 votes (2008 - 1279)
BN 761 (2008 - 854).

In SMK Tiong Hing Sg Merah (Pelawan) from 2 streams:
DAP got 287 votes (2008 - 241)
BN 203 (2008 - 211)

6.30 pm
DAP 9188
BN 8274 Majority 914,
59 out of 110 boxes counted

5.3o pm
BN 3,493 vs PR 1,396;
BN Majority 2,097. (19 out of 110 streams counted).

3.50 pm
Some urban areas turnout only 50%. Kit Siang thinks this is not enough to bring DAP across the line.

3.40 pm
Voter turnout at 3 pm: 53.02% or 29,000 voters.

3.30 pm

Another commented:
You want to know why voter turnout is so low?

Hey, this election was already bought and sealed even before today. People in Sibu know how their bread is buttered.

Certain mega-business towkays supportive of the DAP were cornered by the BN leaders and have since sent word out to the ground that people should simply stay away and not vote. Money talks my brothers and sisters. All your religion and belief in God is mere fantasy... All your pastors and priests mere hypocrites.

There are many TYCOONS in Sibu who depends on the Federal Govt for a living. Thus, many smaller bizmen in Sibu will listen to these BIG TYCOONS to vote for SUPP.
One reader commented:
Let's NOT forget Sibu is quite a TRIAD TOWN. Triad members goes by THOUSANDS & these members could be under the instruction of their DRAGON HEAD (leader) to vote for SUPP as the TRIADS activities (allegedly) depend on SUPP for a living
3.15 pm
Counting from 9 polling stations - DAP down by 481 votes.
In 2008, DAP lost 507 votes in these 9 centres.

3.oo pm
Voting stations closed at 3pm all rural longhouses, traditionally BN supporters.

21 out of 55 polling stations have closed. These are the smaller polling stations, especially those in the longhouses.

Zentrum's KAJIAN MIKRO PERSEPSI KEPERCAYAAN POLITIK Prediction on exit poll as of 2.30 pm
--- BN 50.6%
--- PR 49.0%
---- BEBAS 0.4%

2.50 pm:
Results from 8 stations - DAP down by 540 votes.

Closing of polling centers as follows

  1. 10 polling centres closed @ 1pm;

  2. 5 centers @ 2pm;

  3. 6 centers @ 3 pm;

  4. 2 centers @ 4 pm;

  5. 22 centers @ 5 pm.
2.45 pm
Lim Kit Siang says prospects for DAP look grim due to low turnout. Kit Siang says counting of 10 centres not good for DAP.

But Anil Netto reports that one political observer feel DAP might win by 500 votes.

2.15 pm:
EC says 25,319 or 46.29 % have voted up to 2pm

Counting for the 10 polling centres which closed at 1 pm have started.

1.00 pm
Zenturm Future Studies PREDICTS from exit poll as at 12.30pm:

BN 49.8%
PR 49.2%
BEBAS 1.0%

Too close to call.

12.45 pm

BN stronghld Rantau Panjang : Turnout 88%. Voters brought to vote in 3 buses

DAP MP for Bakri in Johor, Er Teck Hwa, says he and a team of campaigners have been blocked from entering one of the polling stations in Sg Aup by a group of Umno supporters and members.

SK Sg Pinang, Rassau PD: turnout 72.7%

DAP's youth chief Anthony Loke at the Sibu postal votes centre, alleges discrepancies in the postal voting that took place on Thursday and Friday. He claims the number of postal votes counted EXCEED the number of postal voters listed.There were also non-voters on the list of postal voters, he adds.

12.30 pm
Tadika Taman Rajang, Rajang Park PD: turnout 49%
SK Rantau Panjang, BwgAssn PD: turnout 82.6%
SK Sg Pasai: turnout 56.5%

EC says 20,241 or only 37 % have voted up to 12 noon.
In comparison, in Hulu Selangor, 49.04 % had already voted by noon time.

10 polling centres expected to close by 1pm

12.00 noon
Bernard Khoo (Zorro) reported

"Peaceful in all fronts. This is so different from Peninsular Malaysia. It is probably, no definitely because, UMNO's people are not around. There are no jeering, no flags, no taunting. Here UMNO cannot bus-in school children and their Mat Rempits will not be welcomed here."
Turn out at Bawang Assan library and the badminton court Polling Station turnout is around 70%

SK Sg Pasai, Rassau PD has 50 % turnout. Polling station here will close at 4 pm

11.30 am
EC says 15,767 or 28.83 % have cast their ballots by 11am.

11.00 am
Do Nang area flooded. 2 1/2 feet of water at SJK Do Nang polling station. Voters having difficulties to reach polling centres.

Sarawak EC chief Takun Sunggah and Returning Officer Wong See Meng ordered PKR to remove the booth set up around 50 m away from SJKC Methodist.Takun produces a copy of the Election Act's Section 26 (c) that proscribes the set-up of any party booths on polling day.

10.30 am
Police break up PKR & PBB supporters in Bandung after a shouting match got out of control.

8.00 am
Voters are advised to vote early today as the Meteorological Department forecasts isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon.

The Election Commission (EC) is expecting about 80 percent turnout for the by-election.


News Review BEFORE Polling Day

  • DAP pulled in more than 10,000 people at its biggest public rally here last night when ending the campaign for the Sibu by-election, promising a close fight for the parliamentary seat. All Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, Lim Guan Eng, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang spoke at the rally held just outside the town centre. This is DAP’s first by-election since Election 2008.
  • It is a battle of a political greenhorn, SUPP’s Robert Lau, against the experienced DAP chairman, Richard Wong.

  • It is also a fight between rich and poor. Lau’s family is linked to timber, oil palm plantations, printing and newspapers of the KTS group. His political adversary, Wong, hails from a poor family from the outskirts of Sibu and is noted for his crusade against poverty, injustice, and unfairness.
  • Four Sibu Methodist churches were given special grants totalling RM1.75 million from the federal government yesterday in the final hours of the by-election campaign.The award was presented by a representative from the deputy prime minister’s office, according to a report in today’s The Sunday Post.
  • Najib handed RM18 million in financial assistance to 65 Chinese schools and told the people in Sibu to trust his leadership. That included RM10 million for Chinese primary schools, RM5 million for Chinese independent secondary schools and RM3 million for Christian missionary schools.

  • The rural poor in Sarawak (under the BN-led Govt) have lost their farms and their ancestral Native Customary Rights (NCR) to plantations, timber companies and hydro-electric dams. These people resettled in the shanty communities around Sibu, which lack clean water and electricity. If they had hoped to find employment, education and health care, they only found menial work in massage parlors, coffee shops or construction sites. For many, their longhouse traditions have been replaced by squalor, despair and alcohol.
    Read here for more

  • Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has appealed to Sibu voters to help reinforce Pakatan Rakyat's strength in Parliament following the loss of yet another PKR MP (Wee Choo Keong).
  • Lim Guan Eng said: "BN needs four more seats to get their desired two-third majorities. I appeal to Sibu voters NOT to allow this. Give us another MP and help increase our representation in parliament. We must not give them (BN) this please vote for a principled politician and not for commercial politics."
  • Tunku Abdul Aziz wrote: "When we look at the personal wealth accumulated by Chief Minister Taib of Sarawak at one extremity and the Ibans at the other, one begins to wonder what the future holds for Malaysia.The thieving and plundering by those in power must stop ... The Government of Malaysia and the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak in particular can alleviate poverty by governing in the sole interest of the people." Read here for more

The SIBU constituency has 54,695 voters, of which 66 percent are predominantly CHINESE (Foochow)

The other groups are:
--Malay/Melanau (17 percent),
--Ibans (15 percent)
-- with the remainder from the Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Indian communities.

There are 2,537 postal voters from the police and army personnel at two military camps.

Postal votes in Malaysia are a historical carry over from the days of the Communist Emergency, 1948-1960 and also the 1970s. In its original form, it was designed to allow security personnel on duty to vote despite their being on the front lines. Today, this practice of Postal Votes is largely redundant. A UKM study in 2004/05 found that postal votes are nowadays largely compromised with security personnel not being able to vote freely. Hence, it should be scrapped. Besides, security personnel today can vote just like anyone else - openly and on shift rotation instead of doing it in front of their commanding officers and beyond the scrutiny by political parties. The EC does not also command much credibility these days so it defeats the purpose to continue having postal voting under EC scrutiny since many doubt the impartiality of the EC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks !