Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Screaming, blackout at #PKR polls. #PR

George Town : Serious glitches at several PKR divisional meetings on Saturday and yesterday continued to mar the party’s electoral process.
 
In Nibong Tebal, there was high drama at the PKR voting  centre  last night following the discovery of ballot papers  outnumbering voter turnout.
 
The discovery, with 838 ballot papers compared with 672  voters, prompted incumbent division chairman Makhtar  Shapee and challenger S. Sanjeeviramah to call for a re- election, while fellow challenger Datuk Dr Mansor Othman,  who is also Penang deputy chief minister and state PKR chief,  stood his ground for the ballot papers to be counted.
 
There were many red faces and shouting as supporters of  the three contenders cried foul over the turn of events. 
 
After consulting returning officer Datuk Law Choo Kiang,  the division’s polls director, Kalsom Said, declared the  election null and void, and called for a re-election to be  held.
 
Almost immediately after the announcement, the JKKK  hall in Simpang Tiga went dark, sending the hall into more  havoc as screaming matches broke out, with chairs and  tables also being kicked about.
 
The blackout lasted 20 seconds.
 
Mansor was seen being whisked away by his aides and  supporters, while the other two remained in the hall.
 
The Nibong Tebal division has a total of 3,692 registered  members.
 
In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah PKR chief Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin  said while most divisions had completed meetings without  hiccups, a glaring setback took place in Tenom after electoral  officials did not  take enough ballot papers to the polling  centre.
 
Lajim said more than 1,000 members were present to cast  their votes but only 300 ballot papers were given out.
 
“One of the officials forgot to bring ballot papers for the  divisional elections.

“So that is why the meeting had to be cancelled. We will let  the party headquarters decide on the matter.”
 
He added that the proposed date to resume the Tenom  divisional meeting was on May 10.
 
Lajim admitted there were other technical problems as  well as reports of rowdy crowds in several areas.
 
“But these are all normal because of the (excitement) of  election process at some of the divisions.”
 
Grouses were further raised in Perak, when two of the 24  PKR divisions — Lumut and Bagan Serai,  encountered  problems with the voting process and ballot papers.
 
In Lumut, candidate for division chief First Admiral (R)  Muhammad Imran Abd Hamid said  the secretariat failed to  provide the nomination books which listed the candidates’  names.
 
“When voting began at 10am, members could not vote as  there were no nomination books,” he said.
 
Following complaints from members, the nomination  books were later distributed to members about noon.

 The voting process was further marred when ballot papers  for the national Youth post arrived only at 12.15pm.
 
 This led members to voice their dissatisfaction with some  claiming sabotage was involved.
 
In Bagan Serai, there was a slight confusion when the  candidate for the division Youth chief post, Yusri Yaacob,  pulled out of the race at the last minute.
 
Yusri who resorted to pasting papers at the voting area to  announce his decision, said he had informed the party’s  central selection committee of his intention last Friday.
 
“But today, my name is still there as a candidate,” he said,  adding that his decision could help to unite the party, which  he felt had split due to the election.
 
Also in Penang, unofficial results showed incumbent Tan jung PKR division chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abdul Kas sim was likely to lose his post he had held for more than 15  years.
 
However, it is learnt that the state executive councillor   would be challenging the results following allegations of  eight people who voted but were not listed as members of the  division.

Additional reporting by Noor Adzman Baharuddin, Adie  Suri Zulkefli and  Sylvia Looi


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