TANAH RATA: Cameron Highlands is all geared up for its by-election today.
Established in 2004, this parliamentary constituency has seen four general elections in the past, which so far has been won by Barisan Nasional through the MIC.
The Cameron Highlands by-election to date has so far seen the confirmed contest from M. Manogaran representing Pakatan Harapan; Tan Sri M. Kayveas of MyPPP; and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Rtd) Ramli Mohd Nor for Barisan Nasional.
The nomination process will take place in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Ahmad Shah between 9am and 10am. Barring any protests from candidates, the returning officer, Datuk Ishak Md Napis, is expected to announce the names of eligible candidates who will be contesting the polls by 11am.
The election atmosphere, which is usually heralded by poster and flag wars, is yet to take off. Supporters of various political parties and members of the media have started converging on this tourist spot from the increased traffic seen on the roads leading up to Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang.
The 15-day campaigning period will culminate with polling on January 26.
A total of 811 election workers will be deployed during the by-election. Two helicopters will be used to fly ballot boxes from rural areas to the vote tallying centres.
Out of the 29 polling centres, four centres are scheduled to close at 2pm due to small number of voters in the area while the rest at 5pm on Jan 26.
A total of 32,008 registered voters in the parliamentary constituency are eligible to cast their votes on polling day, said Pahang Election commission director Datuk Zamree Hamli. He added that a total of 247 voters, including policemen, will be voting early on Jan 22.
The Cameron Highlands by-election is the fifth to be called after the 14th General Election (GE14) following a decision by the Election Court to nullify Barisan Nasional candidate, Datuk C. Sivarrajh's victory.
The court had ruled that during the election, there were elements of bribery involved in a bid to sway voters in the area.
Sivarraajh, who faced a five-corner fight in GE14, won the seat with 10,307 votes, while M.Manogaran from DAP garnered 9,710. PAS candidate Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud polled 3,587 votes, Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) B Suresh Kumar (680), and Berjasa candidate Mohd Tahir Kassim (81).