Friday May 19, 2017
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Election Commission chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah addresses the media during a press conference held in Putrajaya on May 19, 2017. ― Picture by Tarrence TanElection Commission chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah addresses the media during a press conference held in Putrajaya on May 19, 2017. ― Picture by Tarrence TanPUTRAJAYA, May 19 ― Nominations for the Pujut by-election will take place on June 20 while voting is on July 4, the Election Commission (EC) announced today.

The seat became vacant after the Sarawak assembly disqualified DAP's Dr Ting Tiong Choon for previously acquiring an Australian citizenship.

The Pujut state seat in Miri has 26,532 registered voters, who are predominantly Chinese.

The closing dates to apply as postal ballots for voters within the country will also be June 20 while overseas voters have until June 22, EC chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah told a news conference here.

According to the EC, the by-election is estimated to cost RM838,536.

Miri City Council acting secretary Morshidi Fredrick has been appointed the state by-election managing officer and will be assisted by three officers.

The EC has also formed two teams to monitor all electoral campaigning.

Five schools have also been identified as polling centres and 483 officers will be allocated to manage the elections.

“The EC also welcome NGOs which are interested to monitor the by-elections from the nomination date until the result day,” Hashim said.

He acknowledged the Sarawak DAP’s intention to challenge Dr Ting’s disqualification in court.

“We will carry out our responsibilities first which is to fill up vacant seats in the state. But, we will abide by any decision made by the court,” he said.

Hashim also appeared unfazed over scathing remarks made by former EC chairman-turned-Opposition politician Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Ramah, saying the latter is free to make any political statements.

“That’s because Rashid is in politics, so he is looking at issues in the perspective of politics. But, he didn’t attack me personally.

“I respected Rashid as a former EC chairman and I still respect him today as a political leader,” he said.

Abdul Rashid is currently a vice-president with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Dr Ting won the Pujut state seat with a majority of 1,759 votes during the 12th Sarawak state election on May 7, 2016 in a four-cornered fight against a direct Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Hii King Chiong, PAS and an independent candidate.

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