LUNDU: The Election Commission (EC) has sent off its first Tanjong Datu by-election polling team, led by its SK Telok Melano polling centre presiding officer Nazri Bujang at about 11am today.
This is the only polling team which sets off today in view of the 80km-long road trip from Lundu that the team has to make to reach Telok Melano – the farthest of the 25 polling centres in this by-election.
The team will travel by road and is expected to return to the counting centre at the Lundu Community Hall with cast ballots tomorrow at 3pm by helicopter.
The SK Telok Melano polling centre is one of the four centres which will close early at 12 noon due to its small number of voters.
Other polling centres that will also close early at 12 noon tomorrow are SJK Chung Hua Selarat, SK Stoh and Balai Raya Kampung Rambungan.
As the meteorological department has forecast rainy conditions tomorrow morning, EC chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah also urged all voters to turn up early to cast their vote.
There are in total 25 polling centres in 16 polling districts for the by-election. This morning, presiding officers for all the polling centres made a thorough check on their polling equipment and materials which have been packed in signature yellow EC bags.
After checks to make sure that all polling materials including ballot papers are in place, the bags will be sent to Lundu police station for safekeeping before being brought to the polling centre tomorrow by presiding officers.
The Tanjong Datu by-election was called following the passing of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem on Jan 11.
A total of 9,771 eligible voters will cast their votes on Feb 18.
It will be a three-cornered fight between BN candidate Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu and candidates from State Reform Party Sarawak (STAR) Johnny Aput and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) Rapelson Richard Hamit.