NOMINATION DAY LIVE
9- 10am – Candidates to hand in nomination forms.
10-11am – Objections can be lodged against candidates.
11am – 12 noon – Returning officer to decide on objections filed.
Pakatan’s crowd at Bkt Gantang
bn crowd at Bkt Gantang
12.30pm: Both in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau the crowd had dispersed without any incidents. The candidates have also finished the press conference. Campaigning period for all three by-elections start now. Pollings are on April 7.
11.42am: A total of five objections were received and rejected for the three seats.
11.20am: In Batang Ai, the returning officer has confirmed that the Sarawak state seat will see a straight fight between Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) and Jawah Gerang (PKR).
In Bukit Gantang, RO Mahmod Morsidi confirmed that the parliamentary seat will be fought by three candidates – Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS), Ismail Safian (Umno) and Kamarul Ramizu Idris (Independent)
11am: In Bukit Selambau, returning officer Abdullah Mat Akhir has announced that no objections were filed and as such the seat will see a historic 15-cornered fight – BN’s S Ganesan, PKR’s S Manikumar and 13 independents.
The independents are: Anuar Abdul Rahim, Radzi Md Lazim, Khamis Awang, A Jayagopal, Tan Hock Huat, T Chandrarajan, S Moganakumar, Husaini Yaacob, Abdul Rahim Abu, L Sarala, M Venason, R Loganathan and Mohd Fazil Abdul Wahab.
10.55am: In Bukit Selambau, independent candidate Abdul Rahim Abu said he hoped to garner the support of the Malay voters (50.2 percent). The former Umno man said he was frustrated by the manner Umno decided on who should contest for the seat.
He said that he will be inviting the other five Malay independent candidates for a meeting to avoid vote-splitting. Six other Indian candidates have filed nominations to contest as independents.
PKR and BN will also be placing Indian candidates respectively. There are about 30 percent Indian voters in this seat.
One Chinese candidate has also filed his papers to stand as an independent.
10.50am: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is currently overseas and was therefore unable to attend the nominations for the three by-elections today.
His conspicuous absence at the Batang Ai (Sarawak), Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Bukit Gantang (Perak) nomination centres raised many eyebrows.
When contacted, an Anwar aide said the Pakatan Rakyat supremo is currently in the Middle East, following which, he will be speaking at a conference in Bangkok. He is expected to return on Tuesday.
10.43am: In Batang Ai, an objection has been lodged against Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) candidacy. PKR leader Dominique Ng is questioning the BN candidate on whether he has indeed resigned from his job as district officer. He also said independent Johnny Chuat withdrew at the last minute and pledged his support to the PKR candidate.
10.20am: In Bukit Selambau, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said that they were not worried about the number of candidates vying for the state seat, and expressed confidence in PKR’s Manikumar as being the right person to be able to solve the problems of the people there.
10.16am: In Bukit Selambau – or ‘Bukit Independent’ now – a 13th independent candidate has submitted his papers. His name is Khamis Awang, a 32-year-old businessman. He submitted his papers at 9.10am but everyone had missed him. With a candidate each from PKR and BN, in all 15 candidates have filed nominations.
10.15am: In Bukit Gantang, the Pakatan crowd is shouting ‘Tangkap Najib’. However the BN crowd is rather subdued. The BN crowd is also standing right under the hot sun while the Pakatan people have shaded to protect them.
10.05am: In Batang Ai, the huge crowd of 15,000 is anxiously awaiting the official confirmation of their respective candidates. Only two candidates have filed their nomination papers – Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) and Jawah Gerang (PKR).
Expected Independent candidate Johnny Chuat, who was at the nomination centre this morning, did not submit his nomination papers.
About 1,000 police officers have been deployed to control the crowd and the traffic at the nomination centre in this tiny border town of Lubok Antu. The returning officer will now take objections to the candidacy of the three before confirming the candidates.
10am: NOMINATIONS CLOSE. OBJECTION PERIOD (10 to 11am)
Three candidates have filed nomination papers in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau (15 candidates), Batang Ai (2 candidates).
9.53am: In Bukit Selambau, the flood of independents continued, with the 12th independent candidate A Jayagopal arriving at the nomination centre.
Jayagopal, who speaks fluent Hokkien, said he is contesting to help the poor and claims to have a good relationship with Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak.
He arrived at the nomination centre singing a popular Chinese song ‘Justice Bao’. He also denied facing a court case over an alleged molest charge.
9.50am: In Bukit Gantang, eyewitnesses claim that the Pakatan crowd is winning the slogan war with their continuous shouts of corruption and reformasi. Scores of flags have been raised and the supporters are also doing the Mexican wave.
Their rival supporters, however are calm and quiet.
9.42am: In Bukit Gantang, Umno’s new Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is seen shaking hands with PAS supporters and is jeered by the crowd.
9.40am: In Bukit Selambau, the EC tells rowdy Pakatan Rakyat supporters to ‘stop the music’ (the playing of the drums) as this is against the law.
9.31am: In Bukit Selambau, the 11th independent candidate – Tan Hock Huat – arrives.
9.30am: In Bukit Gantang, independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, files his nomination papers.
The businessman and father of seven, who hails from Taiping, told reporters: “Race does not matter, what matters is that we are united. Unity does not see race.”
9.18am: In Bukit Selambau, BN’s Ganesan files his nomination papers. MIC heavyweights led by president S Samy Vellu, secretary-general Dr S Subramaniam, deputy minister SK Devamany, vice-president S Veerasingam, deputy minister M Saravanan and Youth chief T Mohan are there to lend support. Other top guns present are Umno’s Muhammad Muhd Taib, Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, Sabah CM Musa Aman and PPP deputy minister T Murugiah.
Newly-elected Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein who has been tasked with overseeing the ruling coalition’s bid for the state seat, said: “We are prepared. If everything goes well, why can’t we win? Ganesan is a good candidate. Supporters are in high spirits. We are cautiously optimistic.”
When the BN candidate entered the nomination centre, Pakatan supporters greeted him by beating on drums and shouting ‘rasuah‘ (corruption).
Both sets of supporters are separated by a field with hundreds of police personnel in place.
9.17am: In Batang Ai, PKR candidate Jawah Gerang, accompanied by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and thousands of supporters, arrived at the nomination center at 8.40am.
Minutes later they were joined by PRS candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and top BN leaders including Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who marched to the indoor stadium from the BN operations centre about 2km away. He reported flew to Lubok Antu by helicopter.
The crowd gathering in a open field outside the Lubok Antu sports complex has swelled to about between 10,000 and 15,000 with BN supporters outnumbering Pakatan.
9.15am: In Bukit Gantang, Mohd Nizar files his nomination papers, followed by Ismail. An independent candidate has also arrived. Election Commission chair Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is also present.
9.15am: In Bukit Gantang, BN candidate Ismail Saffian enters the nomination centre. Spotted were newly-minted Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. BN entourage arrives at the nomination centre at 9.05am. Some 10,000 BN supporters are present.
9am: In Bukit Selambau, MIC candidate S Ganesan is accompanied to the nomination centre by Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein and several other party leaders. The BN crowd is estimated to be about 600.
Meanwhile, DAP leaders, led by Lim Kit Siang, arrive at the nomination centre at 8.59am.
The BN crowd is about 8,000, mostly from Umno. They are calm, with no slogans being chanted. Very few leaders are on the ground.
8.45am: In Batang Ai, about 5,000 supporters for the candidates have gathered at the indoor stadium in Lubok Antu, a border town in the Sarawak state seat.
While the focus of the battle will be between BN’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, who is from PRS, and PKR’s Jawah Gerang, an independent candidate may throw his hat into the ring. It is learned that Johnny Chuat, 38, an oil and gas executive and a publisher of an Iban magazine, will be handing in his nomination forms this morning.
8.40am: Nominations for the Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections began promptly at 8am today.
In Bukit Selambau, about 300 Pakatan Rakyat supporters had started gathering since early morning at their operations centre near the polling centre.
PKR candidate S Manikumar arrived at his party operations centre at about 7.15am. The crowd size later increase to about 1,500 by 8am.
And when nomination period started, three independent candidates were the first to file in their forms. By 8.50am, a total of ten independent candidates have gone inside the nomination centre located at Sekolah Teknik Sungai Petani 1.
By 8.30am, it also started to drizzle.PKR leader Azmin Ali and several other party leaders are here. The Pakatan crowd is carrying banners stating ‘Yes to Anwar, No to Najib’, and there are shouts of reformasi.
Apart from the independents, PKR’s Manikumar will also be facing MIC’s S Ganesan.
MIC had been gathering with the supporters, numbering some 500, near the nomination centre and will be marching towards the nomination centre soon.
In Bukit Gantang, a large crowd of about 20,000 PAS supporters had gathered at the nomination centre at Wisma Perbandaran Taiping. The whole place is a sea of green flags – the colour of PAS.
PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin arrived at the nomination centre at 8.40am, accompanied by his wife and several party leaders. State legal assembly speaker V Sivakumar is also present.