A TOTAL of 22,731 registered voters will elect new representatives in the by-election of the Jepak state legislative assembly (DUN) today in Sarawak.A total of 14 polling stations involving 45 channels opened at 7.30am with 11 of them closing at 5.30pm and the other three at 4pm.
Results are expected by 9pm tonight in this three-cornered clash between GPS candidate Iskandar Turkee, Party Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) candidate Stevenson Joseph Sumbang and Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspiration) candidate Chieng Lea Phing.The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) predicts clear weather in the morning and thunderstorms are expected in some areas in the afternoon. The Election Commission (EC) has also urged voters to cast their ballots early. According to The Borneo Post, voters showed up early to cast their ballots in the by-election when the polling station at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bintulu officially opened at 7.30am. The online portal pointed out that all appeared calm as of 8am and the weather proved fair as well.
The Jepak by-election was held following the death of its incumbent for almost six terms, the late Datuk Talib Zulpilip from GPS on Sept 15.Meanwhile, the other significant element in this by-election is the absence of the Pakatan Harapan (PH). GPS chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had last month expressed appreciation for PH’s decision not to nominate a candidate for the by-election. He saw this decision as a sign that GPS, a Sarawakian-based coalition, is best positioned to protect the rights of Sarawakians. He also emphasised the importance of Sarawakians governing Sarawak, and he hoped for a brighter future by upholding the state’s current political system. On the GPS candidate, Abang Johari claimed that the decision to field Iskandar sends the message that GPS is the best and most capable candidate to defend the rights of Sarawakians. “God willing, GPS will hold out. I am thankful to PH for not nominating its candidate and to PN (Perikatan Nasional), which did not do so either,” New Straits Times quoted him as saying. – Nov 4, 2023
Main photo credit: The Borneo Post