Live updates: Voter turnout at 3pm is 53.02%

3.50pm: At 3pm, 53.02% or a total of 29,000 of the registered voters had cast their votes, according to the Election Commission.
2.45pm: Voter turnout as at 2pm was 46.3%, and the EC’s target of 80% turnout looks possible as rain not expected until late evening.
1.40pm: At 1pm, 42pc or more than 23,000 voters had cast their ballots
Floods did not stop people from coming out to vote at SK Tanjung Bekekap.
11.51am: SUPP organising secretary Datuk Seri Peter Chin says voter turnout in town centre polling station is still low and is urging voters to cast their ballots early
11.30am: Voter turnout at 11am is 28.83% but turnout is expected to increase after church services after noon. Meanwhile Bernama reported Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar as saying that “the casting of votes has proceeded smoothly so far. We have not received any reports of untoward incidents.”
11.00am: Crowd of voters turn up at Malay-majority Kampung Bandung polling district. Strong opposition presence along the roads leading to Dewan Kelab Melayu polling station. Umno VP Safie Apdal arrived at 10.50am with Barisan supporters and left after greeting voters.
10.30am: Voter turnout by 10am was 20%
Voters registering at SMK Kampung Nangka.
10.10am: Independent candidate Narawi Haron arrives at SK Ulu Sg Merah, KM 14 Oya Road
10.00am: Crowd at the political hotspot Rajang Park gets bigger as more voters gather to cast their ballots at SJK Taman Rajang and Tadika Taman Rajang polling stations. Rajang is a DAP stronghold.
9.12am: DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng casts his vote at Guong Ann primary school. He is accompanied by his wife Irene Chang and eldest daughter.
9.05am: Barisan candidate Robert Lau arrives with his wife Alice to SMK Rosli Dhoby polling station at Sg Antu polling district to cast her ballot. Robert Lau is not a voter in the Sibu constituency. He is registered in the neighbouring Lanang district.
8.15am: Polls get off to a slow but smooth start. The crowd is expected to increase after morning church services.
8.00am: Polling centres open
7.40am: Early birds come trickling in to avoid long queues later in the day.
SIBU: A total of 52,158 voters are due to choose their new member of parliament in the Sibu parliamentary by-election Sunday in this predominantly Chinese constituency.
Another 2,537 postal voters, comprising 1,910 military and 627 police personnel, had cast their ballots on Thursday and Friday at the Rascom and Oya army camps as well as the Police District Headquarters, here.
Altogether 45 polling stations, with 110 streams, will be opened at 39 schools, two kindergartens and a training centre, a longhouse, a public library and a public recreational centre to facilitate polling.
Voters have been asked to turn up in full force when the stations open at 8am to mark their choice of candidates – the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Robert Lau Hui Yew, the DAP’s Wong Ho Leng, who is also Bukit Assek state assemblyman, or independent, Narawi Haron.
Hui Yew, who is defending the predominantly Chinese urban seat for the Barisan following the death of Deputy Transport Minister and five-term Sibu MP Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew on April 9, is scheduled to cast his vote at the SMK Rosli Dhoby polling centre here at about 9am while Wong will be voting at SJKC Goung Ann.
The result of the three-cornered fight is expected to be announced by the Election Commission (EC) at the Sibu Civic Centre here at the latest by 9 pm.
The EC has also assured that the polling process will proceed smoothly as security has been tightened with the reinforcement of police personnel since nomination day last Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Meterological Department has forecast fair weather with the possibility of isolated showers in Sibu on Sunday, which should augur well for the polling process.
In the 2008 general election, Hoi Chew retained the Sibu seat with a 3,549-vote majority, beating Ho Leng and Lim Chin Chuang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in a three-cornered tussle.
According to the electoral roll, updated as of April 9 this year, Chinese voters make up almost 67% of the total number of voters, followed by Malay/Melanau (10.5%) and Sarawak bumiputeras (22%).
Facts that figure:
CANDIDATES: Robert Lau Hui Yew (BN); Wong Ho Leng (DAP) ; Narawi Haron (Independent) NOMINATION DAY: May 8
TOTAL NO. OF VOTERS: 54,695, comprising 52,158 ordinary and 2,537 postal voters.
POLLING CENTRES: 45 polling stations in 39 schools, two kindergartens and a training centre, a longhouse, a public library and a public recreational centre, with a total of 110 polling streams.
RETURNING OFFICER: Returning Officer Wong See Meng, who is also the Sibu district officer,
MARCH 2008 GENERAL ELECTION RESULT: Robert Lau Hoi Chew (BN) retained the Sibu seat with a 3,549-vote majority, beating Wong Ho Leng of DAP and Lim Chin Chuang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in a three-cornered fight. The by-election was called following the death of Hoi Chew on April 9. – Bernama