SANDAKAN: Polling for the Sandakan parliamentary by-election began as soon as 19 polling stations involving 90 polling streams opened at 7.30am today.
A total of 39,684 ordinary voters are eligible to cast their ballots before the polling stations close at 5pm.
The Election Commission (EC) has stationed 798 workers at the polling stations and is anticipating a 70% voter turnout.
The tallying of votes will be conducted at the Activities Hall of Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Tiong Hua here.
The Meteorological Department has predicted fine weather in the morning but thunderstorms in the late afternoon in a few places in Sandakan.
On May 7, 75% of the 270 early voters comprising police officers and rank-and-file personnel cast their ballots.
According to the electoral rolls, 51% of the voters in Sandakan are Chinese, 45% are Muslim Bumiputera and the rest are of other races.
Some 49.48% of the voters are male and the rest female.
This is the eighth by-election since the 14th General Election (GE-14) on May 9 last year, with the first held at Sungai Kandis on Aug 4, Balakong and Seri Setia (Sept 8), Port Dickson (Oct 13), Cameron Highlands (Jan 26), Semenyih (March 2) and Rantau (April 13).
The Sandakan by-election is a five-cornered fight involving Vivian Wong Shir Yee of DAP, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin and three independents – former Sabah Parti Amanah Negara founder Hamzah Abdullah, businessman Chia Siew Yung, and former officer at the Sandakan parliamentary constituency service centre, Sulaiman Samat.
The Sandakan seat fell vacant after the MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt died of a heart attack on March 28. — Bernama