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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 10: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak’s candidate for Petra Jaya branch chief post Iswardy Morni and two voters lodged a police report against PKR Central Election Committee (CEC) and CEC Sarawak for the last-minute change in polling date for the branch.
The PKR state election involving 29 divisions started today until tomorrow (Nov 11), and the election for Petra Jaya branch was supposed to be held today at Dewan Seri Liny in Jalan Haji Taha, but it was suddenly changed to tomorrow.
When met at the Simpang Tiga police station here, Iswardy claimed there was a possibility of cheating and sabotage by certain quarters in the party.
He added that a report would be lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Putrajaya against the CEC for abuse of power on Monday (Nov 12).
“I waited at the polling station until 9am for the CEC to arrive, but they didn’t show up. I kept on calling and finally was told that the schedule had been changed. But by then, more than 100 voters had arrived.
“I asked when was the date changed, and I was told last night (Nov 9), in which Bandar Kuching is to be held today and Petra Jaya tomorrow. So, I felt we have been played out and there is something suspicious,” he added.
He alleged that it was an attempt to frustrate and demotivate the voters because many of those who showed up today might shy away tomorrow; thus, this could upset the result.
Iswardy, who is in deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli’s camp, revealed that the branch had been informed since Oct 28 that election for the branch was scheduled on Nov 10. But on Nov 7, they received another notice informing that the election date had been changed to Nov 11.
Due to the short time given to inform and mobilise voters and machinery, they protested to the change, and the CEC had on Nov 8 reverted the election date to Nov 10.
“In fact, I’ve checked the official website last night at 9pm, confirming that polling will go on today as scheduled, but later at 10pm, it was changed. The notice was less than 24 hours, and even if it (the notice) is two to three days earlier, I feel there isn’t enough time to change,” he emphasised.
Iswardy, who was accompanied by a group of voters, expressed disappointment with the management and leadership of the PKR Petra Jaya branch.
Nevertheless, he said the branch’s election using the e-voting system would be held tomorrow (Nov 11) from 9am to 4pm.
There are about 1,500 voters registered in Petra Jaya area, and the CEC estimated a 40 per cent turnout. This morning, one-sixth or more than 100 voters, had already registered to vote.
“I urge voters to come down as early as 7am and vote tomorrow to prevent any form of sabotage and cheating in the party,” he said. — DayakDaily