Saturday, January 16

Thousands cast votes in Batu Sapi by-election

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SANDAKAN: Maidin Samat was determined to carry out his rights, come rain or shine.

“I voted for Usno, Berjaya, PBS and now for Umno,” said the 78-year-old cake seller who was seen wiping balm on his leg as he took a break from the long walk to the polling station at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Sapi yesterday.

He was among the thousands who came out to cast their votes in the Batu Sapi by-election after the seat fell vacant following the sudden demise of incumbent Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Edmund Chong Ket Wah on Oct 9.

The wet weather and minor hiccups did not dampen the voters’ spirits to practise their rights.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who was scheduled to visit several polling stations here arrived at his first stop at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Pei Ying at 10.05am.

He walked around and greeted passing voters, including those in vehicles.

Election Commission officials and party supporters stood guard at the polling stations as early as 7am.

Several supporters were seen holding up posters and flags as they persuaded passing voters to vote for their candidate.

At SJKC Pei Ying, elderly voters were seen shuttled by vehicles provided by the polling officials due to the steep walkway leading up to the polling station since the opening hours of the poll.

In the early hours of voting, voters, mostly elderly people, thronged the polling stations.

And 80-year-old Chin Vui Onn was one of them.

He who suffered serious leg infections was pushed in a wheelchair by the officials.

Chin held on to the oath of secrecy as he declined to reveal who he voted for.