KOTA BAHARU – Polling opened at 8 am today at nine schools used as polling centres in the Chempaka state by-election to enable 20,390 voters to cast their ballots.
The schools are Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pulau Gajah; SK Sabak; SK Parang Puting; SK Kem; SK Che Deris; SK Seri Chempaka; Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Badang; SMK Pengkalan Chepa and Sekolah Menengah Agama Tengku Amalin A’ishah Putri Chempaka.
The polling centres will close at 5 pm.
The by-election is a five-cornered contest among a PAS candidate, Ahmad Fathan Mahmood alias Mahamad, 42, who is the Ulama Affairs chief in the constituency, and four independent candidates.
The independent candidates are former lecturer Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, 48; former Kelantan Perkasa vice-president Sharif Mahmood, 59; Pertubuhan Keturunan Paduka Raja Cik Siti Wan Kembang president Fadzillah Hussin, 55, and businessman Aslah Mamat, 64.
The by-election has been necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, PAS spiritual leader and former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, 84, on Feb 12.
Early voting was held on March 18 for 1,497 soldiers and their spouses. The turnout was 530 or 35.4 per cent.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) has opted out of the by-election, choosing to focus instead on the massive rehabilitation work after Kelantan was hit by extraordinary floods in December last year.