EC sets May 31 for Penanti polling (The Star)

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) has set May 23 as nomination day and May 31 as polling day for the Penanti by-election.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said that the commission confirmed on April 22 that the seat fell vacant on April 17 following the resignation of its PKR assemblyman, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, in a letter dated March 19.
Speaking at a press conference here yesterday, Abdul Aziz said Penang State Assembly Speaker Abdul Halim Hussin officially notified the commission on April 17 of the vacancy.
He said the commission decided to hold nominations on a Saturday and polling on Sunday following grouses raised by voters and political parties during the recent tri-elections, which were held on a week day.
Shape of the next battlefront: Abdul Aziz pointing to the Penanti consituency as Seberang Prai Tengah district officer Roslan Yahaya stands next to him at the EC headquarters in Putrajaya Monday. — Bernama
But this does not mean that all future by-elections will be held during weekends as it will all depend on the dates when the seats become vacant, the availability of the necessary buildings and feedback from the various agencies involved, he said.
He said the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara hall in Bukit Mertajam would serve as the nomination centre and the main vote-tallying centre.
Abdul Aziz refuted claims by the Opposition that the EC delayed the announcement of the dates for the by-election to after the Umno supreme council meeting.
Abdul Aziz said booths operated by political parties offering voter information would be banned starting with the Penanti by-election because their use was tantamount to campaigning.
The Penanti seat fell vacant after Fairus, who resigned as Penang Deputy Chief Minister I on April 8, announced on April 16 that he was resigning and saying that it was in the best interest of his party.
Fairus added that he wanted to further his studies and clear his name against allegations of being involved in illegal quarry dealings in Penang.
Although he was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, he stuck to his decision to resign.
Abdul Aziz advised voters to check which voting station they should go to on the EC website,, or by sending an SMS to 15888.
They can also call the EC headquarters in Putrajaya at 03-88856500 or the state office at 04-26117962.