Johor polls: Rain not a deterrent for early voters to exercise rights

By BERNAMA

LIGHT rain in the morning did not stop members of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) from exercising their voting rights and 39% of voters have cast their ballots as of 11am yesterday, according to the Election Commission (EC). 

Among the early voters was former Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, who is now the director of the Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department, who cast his ballot at the Dewan Dato’ Onn, Johor contingent police headquarters (IPK). 

Ayob Khan was still voting in Johor for the Stulang state seat as three months are needed for his voting address to change after being transferred to Bukit Aman, effective Jan 25, this year. 

“However, after this, I will change to (Kuala Lumpur),” said Ayob Khan who has served as Johor police chief from March 2020 to January 2022. Previously, he was the principal assistant director of Bukit Aman Counter Terrorism, Special Branch. 

“If people asked if I miss Johor, for sure I miss it, I have served here for two years,” said the police personality who always attracted attention for handling important cases. 

Also seen monitoring the early voting process at Johor IPK were Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat and EC secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak. 

A total of 63 polling centres were opened for the early voting process, from 8am to 5pm. 

Over 22,000 members of the security forces, comprising the ATM, PDRM and the General Operations Force (GOF), as well as their spouses, were eligible to cast their votes yesterday. 

Facilities at the Johor contingent police headquarters in Jalan Tebrau, as well as 10 district police headquarters state-wide and some government offices, were turned into polling centres. 

Military personnel casted their votes at the Mahkota Camp, Kluang; Tebrau Camp, Ulu Tiram; the 10th Royal Malay Regiment Camp, Batu Pahat and the 4th Royal Artillery Regiment Camp, Segamat. 

A total of 239 candidates are vying for 56 seats in the Johor polls. The polling day for the Johor state election has been set for this Saturday (March 12).

In Muar, the district police headquarters’ Parit Prupok police staff quarters hall; the 6th Battalion GOF Bakri’s multipurpose hall and the Parit Jawa police station information room were among facilities used for early voting. 

Muar district police chief, assistant commissioner of police Zaharudin Rasip said the process went smoothly in full compliance with standard operating procedures in the new norms. 

“There are also tents set up here to enable any members and officers to be screened before voting,” he said, adding that there were 573 voters who were eligible to vote at the polling centre. 

Among those present at the early voting centre for the Maharani state seat were Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Noor Farah Shamsudin; Abd Aziz Talib (Perikatan Nasional [PN]); Nor Hayati Bachok (Pakatan Harapan); Riad Ahmad (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air) and Muhammad Hanis Asmui Md Salleh (Parti Bangsa Malaysia). 

Also seen at the multipurpose hall were four of the five candidates contesting for the Bukit Naning seat, namely PKR candidate Ysahrudin Kusni, Datuk Mohd Fuad Tukirin (BN), Mahadzir Abu Said (PN) and S Jeganathan (Independent). — Bernama