Sabah turns out for GE15, undeterred by floods and polling hiccups

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 19 — In Sabah, the state Election Commission (EC) has engaged 86 helicopters and 41 boats to ferry ballot boxes to and from far-flung polling stations.

A state EC statement said that there were 31,597 people on duty to ensure operations run smoothly.

Sabah police chief Datuk Idris Abdullah said that 8,361 police personnel are on duty today at 7,874 polling centres around the state.

He said that no polling stations had been severely affected by floods as of 12.30pm although the weather was overcast, with rain reported in some areas.

However, the media is checking up on reports of flooding in the interior district of Nabawan.

There were also reports of some chaos at polling stations where operations were more staggered.

At the Peak Nam Toong temple, which is one of the designated polling centres for Kota Kinabalu, voters had to wait more than two hours before casting their ballot.

A witness told Malay Mail that there was a line of people snaking across the compound at mid-morning.

“Senior citizens were getting restless and when one person complained, others joined in and kicked up a fuss. One of them complained of feeling lightheaded, and then fainted and had to be brought for medical attention,” said a witness.

“One uncle started shouting in Malay, and then Hakka. They were asking the EC why their channel, number 2, for senior citizens, was not moving unlike other lanes. It was very disorganised from what I experienced, and I don’t blame them for getting restless,” she said.

“It wasn’t hot, but it was tiring to just be standing there for so long. I think they could have been more efficient in moving the senior citizen lanes along at least,” said another witness.

“Thankfully, the weather was overcast, or else there would be more incidents,” he said.