Rantau by-election: Nonagenarian looks forward to vote

11 Apr 2019 / 09:30 H.

SEREMBAN: “I will vote as long as I live,” said one of the oldest living voters in the Rantau state constituency.

Lijah Ismail (pix), 98, said she would not miss the opportunity to fulfill her responsibility as a Malaysian citizen and was looking forward to voting in the Rantau state by-election this Saturday.

“I have gone to the polls so many times, ever since the country achieved independence. I am going to vote this Saturday with the help of my children,“ she told Bernama when met at her home in Taman Kelab Tuanku here.

Asked on her secret of staying healthy, Lijah said she practiced stretching exercises every morning as well as a healthy diet.

“I often feel like I am still 80 years old,” she said, jokingly.

Lijah, who lives with her daughter and a maid, is still able to communicate well, although she walks with a stoop and uses a stick.

The Rembau native who has five children called on voters in Rantau, especially young people, to exercise their right.

Lijah’s son, Datuk Noor Noordin Abdullah, 73, said his mother had never neglected her responsibility as a voter.

“She is also active in associations and often sits in the front seat in meetings or events,” he said.

He added that based on information from his late uncle, his mother was supposed to be 101 years old this year because she was actually born in 1918, but for an unknown reason, his mother’s identity card showed that she was born in 1921.

According to the Election Commission (EC) data, the oldest living voter in the state constituency is Sua Thye Pang, 120.

Voters aged 90 years and above comprised 0.56% of the total voters, while 2.53% are aged between 80 and 89 years, 6.13% (between 70 and 79), 18.72% (between 60 and 69), 19.69% (between 50 and 59) , 21.11% (between 40 and 49), 24.01% (between 30 and 39), and 12.25% (between 21 and 29).

The Rantau state by-election will see a four-cornered fight involving Dr S. Streram of Pakatan Harapan, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan of Barisan Nasional and two Independent candidates, R. Malarvizhi and Mohd Nor Yassin.

The by-election has been necessitated by the Federal Court dismissal of an appeal filed by Umno deputy president and former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Mohamad to set aside the Nov 16 Seremban Election Court decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void.

In GE14, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat for BN after Dr Streram, an anaesthetist, the potential PH candidate, was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the EC. — Bernama

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