Jan 22, 2007

Batu Talam Polls May Be Deferred If Floods Worsen

Even the power of democracy is not a match for the power of mother nature.

Batu Talam Polls May Be Deferred If Floods Worsen

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- Polling for the Batu Talam by-election, which has been fixed on Jan 28, will be deferred to another date if the floods in Pahang worsen and spread to Raub, said Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor.

However, he said, there was no sign of the floods deteriorating and affecting the process of the Batu Talam by-election.

"So far, the voting centres are not affected by the floods," said Kamaruzaman when contacted by Bernama Monday.

The Batu Talam by-election, being held following the death of Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman Datuk Tengku Paris Tengku Razlan last Dec 27, will see a two-corner fight between BN candidate, Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, 47, and independent Ng Chee Pang, 22.

Kamaruzaman said if any of the voting centres for the by-election could not be used because of the floods, the EC would gazette new ones to replace them.

He did not foresee any problem in replacing the voting centres as there were many schools in the area.

A total of 11 schools and a community hall have been gazetted as voting centres for the Batu Talam by-election.

Asked on problems by voters affected by the floods to go to the polls, Kamaruzaman said it was not a problem for the EC to handle.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told the BN machinery to take the necessary measures to ensure voters were able to cast their votes should there be no change in the flood situation in Raub.

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