PEKAN: Polling for the Chini state by-election has been smooth going despite the introduction of the new standard operating procedure (SOP) to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Dr Azmi Sharom (pix) said that 23% of the 20,816 voters had fulfilled their duties as at 10am.
“We have visited the polling stations and found that the level of compliance with the SOP has been satisfactory, except it is a bit difficult when comes to the social distancing part.
“In general, however, as voters are waiting for their turns to cast their votes, the SOP compliance has been good ... except that it is slightly slower than usual as there are new processes introduced including wearing gloves and so on”, he said.
He said this to reporters after checking the voting process at the Dewan Semai Bakti, Felda Chini 3, near here today.
Azmi was also pleased that the voting process was smooth without any incident involving supporters of the candidates.
He said the by-election would also serve as the best platform for the EC to review the new SOP introduced and to make improvements if needed, for the next general election.
“The Chini by-election is a golden opportunity for us to review the SOP and make improvements if the next general election is held during the Covid-19 period. There must be some preparations and we will discuss it with the Ministry of Health for improvements”, he said.
The by-election was held following the death of incumbent Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun, 60, at Kuala Lumpur Hospital due to a heart attack on May 7. Abu Bakar was Chini state assemblyman since the 11th general election in 2004.
The Chini by-election saw a three-cornered contest between Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mohd Sharim Md Zain, 41, and two independent candidates, Tengku Datuk Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin, 64, and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli, 49. — Bernama