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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, March 13: Some polling centres have been gazetted to close early due to various factors, including the number of voters.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said it also included the operating hours for the polling centres.
He was responding to certain quarters complaining about the alleged early closure of numerous polling centres by the Election Commission (EC) during the Johor polls yesterday (March 12).
“For instance, a woman was complaining about a polling centre closing at 2pm yesterday, but in truth, the polling centre was to cater for only 170 voters and was gazetted to operate until 2pm.
“If (the gazette) says to close at 2pm, then they must close the polling centre at 2pm. This is the law.
“This is not under the discretion of myself, or any individuals, the police or even the EC. This has long been gazetted, and all parties, including the candidates and voters, have been informed,” he told a press conference during his visit to Kampung Tanjung Bako today.
Yesterday (Mar 12), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Layang-Layang, Dr Mazlee Malik, instructed lawyers to lodge a police report following a viral video on social media showing a disgruntled woman in front of a polling centre after not being able to get in to vote.
In the 45-second edited video, the woman said that she had never heard the news that any polling centre would be closed before 5pm.
Following this, Wan Junaidi, who is the minister-in-charge of overseeing the EC’s operation during the polls, said the police report was not a problem as the EC had carried out their duties according to what was previously gazetted.
“The police report was made to confirm whether the alleged claims were true or otherwise. It was then forwarded to me as the minister in charge of the EC, and I have replied with the appropriate response explaining the situation.
“So we are not worried about the police report,” he said. ― DayakDaily