Batu Talam Nomination On Jan 16, Polling Jan 28

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 4 (Bernama) — Nomination day for the by-election in the state constituency of Batu Talam, Pahang, has been fixed for Jan 16 and in the event of a contest, polling will be held on Jan 28.

This was announced by Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman at a news conference here Thursday.
A total of 10,525 voters comprising 10,511 ordinary voters and 14 postal voters are eligible for voting based on the last electoral roll gazetted on Nov 30, 2006 and verified today.
The Batu Talam seat fell vacant on Dec 27 after the state assemblyman, Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan, 65, died of rectal cancer.
In the 2004 general election, Tengku Paris won by a 2,761-vote majority after securing 5,414 votes, beating PAS candidate Dr Mohamed Nilam Abdul Manap who obtained 2,653 votes.
Abdul Rashid said the EC was officially informed yesterday by the Pahang state legislative assembly Speaker on the vacant seat in Batu Talam.
Raub district officer Abdul Kadir Awang Bakar has been appointed the by-election’s returning officer, effective today.
A total of 143 EC staff will be deployed for the by-election which involves 12 polling stations and 23 polling booths.
Abdul Rashid said the commission had set up a task force to monitor and enforce the election procedures.
“There’s no problem with logistics in this constituency. Roads are good, accessible to vehicles and without difficulty. We don’t expect any problems in managing the by-election,” he added.
He said the EC had deliberately chosen Sunday as polling day to facilitate voters residing outside Batu Talam to return to their constituency and exercise their voting rights, thus allowing voter turnout to reach the targeted 80 per cent.
The by-election results are expected to be announced by 10pm.
The EC will also issue a code of ethics which has been agreed upon by political parties and applicable to contesting parties, to ensure an orderly by-election.
Abdul Rashid said each candidate would be given a spending limit of up to RM100,000, but the election procedures did not allow the EC monitoring team to check how the money was being spent.
“The election law does not allow the Election Commission to examine how the money is spent. That’s not our function.
“After the election is over, each party has to account for what it has spent and submit to us. We’ll gazette the expenditure, and this is for the other parties to examine – not the EC,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said the number of registered voters in Batu Talam was reduced to 10,525 from 10,866 previously after the EC removed the names of the deceased from the list based on records from the National Registration Department.
“As far as we are concerned, there is no such thing as phantom voters. And we hope (some) people will not disturb the election process. For example, don’t stop a bus for fear (it may carry) phantom voters,” he said.
He also reminded contesting parties not to display too many posters as “people know all the political parties vying in the by-election”.
“This is a small constituency. Just hang them (posters) where people live. Don’t hang everywhere like on top of trees in the jungle. And don’t hang posters around Raub town,” he said.