Election Day 2006

Sarawak Elections 2006

Finally Election Day has come and it is time to take our Election Commission badge and perform our duty. I woke up as early as 3.30 a.m in the morning on that 20th May Day. I almost did not make it as my car developed some problems when I wanted to start it but after a few tinkering, the engine revved up and I was on my way. I hoped it does not breakdown halfway or was it some kind of indication of a bad day ahead? I prayed that all will be fine with the election process. I met my Election Team and our Returning Officer for N.9 Padungan at the Kuching City South Council. I also made sure that the other members of my team have done their part. Some were new and if anything happens in my area it can lead to election disputes and petition which I would want to avoid at all cost.

Picking Up The Ballot Box & St. Thomas's Station Escort

We picked up the Ballot Box and Ballot Papers which we checked earlier at the Kuching City South Council. There I met my Polling Clerk One, who would assist me. We also had to pick our Escorts and they were ready waiting for us. At the St. Thomas Polling Station where I will have six voting streams (each stream, including me will have one Presiding Officer) I was allocated a Police Seargent, a Lance Corporal, and Five Constables. The Seargent and the Lance Corporal were the only ones armed (with revolver guns).

The Class where the Election Process will be held. Each Class will be known as One Stream. We have Six Streams here.

Arranging the tables according to the specs required by the Elections Commission. Mr. Chen who is my Polling Clerk 2 and Mdm. Chua who is my Polling Clerk 3 (at the background) are experienced in a few elections. Each Presiding Officer will get three Polling Clerks to assist him in each Stream.

The actual Election Day. There are off limits zone. Only voters are allowed within the designated zones. The Policemen will ensure the smooth flow of voters. The distant Yellow Banner is our 'Barung' where the voters will check their names and also which Stream they would be voting.

Picking up our escorts

Our ballot boxes

Picking of the ballot papers will be done here - One Envelop One Team/Stream. The Ballot Papers were checked ealier and sealed.

Posing with our Returning Officer - Mr. Law Ted Min (He will be the overall coordinator for N9 Padungan and getting feedbacks from all the schools including mine) and my Polling Clerk One Mr. Gabriel Wilfred

We had an unexpected visit from MAFREL during the Election Day itself. Posing with En. Syed. Though they were at loggerheads with the Election Commission, they seemed a friendly lot.

The Two Candidates for My Polling Station
Candidates are allowed to visit the various Polling Stations in the area they are contesting. Their polling agents and observers are also allowed to accompany them. On the actual day itself I had at least two visits from the candidates.

Lily Yong

Domique Ng Kim Ho

End of Election - DAP & Keadilan Celebrations

A lot of people will be reading about DAP's triumph in Kuching this morning - I leave the summarising to the analysts and the other millions of articles that will come out on why DAP-Keadilan-MDC won and SUPP lost. Why they decided to do the vote counting at the City Council of Kuching South, which is SUPP's stronghold and symbol of power, I do not know. When the place was filled with DAP Sarawak and Keadilan supporters, it looked like the Lord of the Rings Movie - The Two Towers - when Helm's Deep was swarmed by the Dark Forces. Its just an analogy. There were too many people there that time that I could not get out of the area as my car was blocked. I am in no position to analyse what caused this sudden shift in the wind direction. My first hand explanation would be that the turnout was very poor. At my station some of the streams only had 30% attendance while the other streams had 60%. That is pretty low and if anyone goes by the formula that on that day "all the Other Party supporters" came in full force, I would agree that could be one of the factors. The fence sitters could be swayed in the last minute - I do not know. But I am glad that I got to have this experience - to be part of the Ninth State Elections process. Watching voters who come in when their ages are 80 and above - the oldest being 95, was heartwarming. Some of them walked to me, looking sad, after they casted their votes and said - "This is my last election. I may not see you in the next five years." I assurred them, "I will see you in the next two years - it will be the Parliamentary Elections then." That is what this is all about I guess.... to these people, their vote meant a lot to them...it could be their last and we were there to give them that opportunity to exercise their right.

FRU Personnels

The first few signs of DAP's victories - During the campaign period cars like this were parading around Kuching City. I had suspected one seat may be lost to DAP here - I never expected more than that.

Keadilan and DAP members celebrate - now when in history you ever get to see Keadilan's victorious crowd in front of MBKS?

Victorious Dominique being greeted by his supporters

Flags from Keadilan & DAP were overwhelming the MBKS Building that night

DAP's Voon and Keadilan's Domique Ng

DAP's Violet Yong

A chance meeting with MBKS Treasurer: Jennifer Phang - Assistant Returning Officer for one of the stations (Pending). Jennifer used to be the Treasurer for the Miri City Council but she was promoted to the City Council of Kuching South.

Batu Lintang Results: All were quiet - the candidates were waiting for the results with their spouses beside them to give support.

Padungan Results

Overall it was a good show for Barisan Nasional in other parts of Sarawak, especially the rural constituencies. By 10.00 p.m the Barisan Nasional managed to get the two third majority to form the Government - though they lost most of the constituencies in Kuching. Congratulations are in order to the Barisan Nasional Team and also to all the winners in each and every constituency as the voters have picked you - inclusive of the opposition...now do your duty). Certain statements have been made. Promises have been given. Will the price of oil now go down now that some people won? That needs to be seen.

I wish to congratulate all especially the Election Commission which made this Election a success. I am apolitical here and the role of those who made this election process a success should be noted. Though I am mad at certain newspapers for the way they report things - I did point out that too much over exposure can backfire. This kind of reporting could have been another factor that changed the fencesitters' choice. On another point, both parties did their job in the transportation of voters from one place to the other. I must also congratulate both parties for maintaining calmness among their supporters. What I feared most was that there would be some unrest somewhere with this kind of results.

I would very much like to blog about what actually goes on in the voting stream in each classroom. How the voters came and did their duties and how our clerks did theirs. But we had to abide by the Official Secrets document which we signed and the instructions that no photos were allowed. So to those of you who wish to know more, go out and vote when its your time and turn.

To my St. Thomas team which comprised of the Presiding Officers: Atiqah, David, Zaidil, Anthony and Bibiana - Well done!


Unknown said…
The people have spoken and the people are pissed off. BN need to take notice of that.

Personally, I'm pleased with the result. This ought to shake things up a bit.
yenpei said…
Nowadays, the people are no longer living on the trees but highly educated links.

People wants energetic and knowledgable leaders, not some old Mercedes engines.