Voting for Semenyih state seat ends
LIVE REPORT | This will be the first time Bersatu - the party led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad - is tested in a by-election.
Meanwhile, BN is hoping to chalk up another victory after a successful outing in Cameron Highlands in January, following four straight wins by Pakatan Harapan last year.
It has been a bruising campaign for Harapan in this Malay-majority state seat, which has been constantly on the defensive over its difficulties in fulfilling election promises.
They are also facing an onslaught of racial and religious rhetoric from Umno and PAS, whose relationship is becoming increasingly rosy.
There are 54,503 eligible voters in Semenyih, which mostly consists of suburbs and some rural areas to the south of Selangor bordering Negeri Sembilan.
Approximately 68 percent of the electorate are Malays, followed by the Chinese (16.7 percent) and Indians (13.8 percent).
- Turnout surpasses past three by-elections in S'gor
- Rosmah banner 'scornful, provocative', says EC chief
- Tempers flare over 'Rosmah is the boss' banner
- BN cries foul as vehicles enter restricted area
- PSM claims Harapan, BN still canvassing for votes
- Zakaria hopes to celebrate birthday with win
- Uncle Kentang: I may not get their votes, but I have their hearts
Thank you for following Malaysiakini's live reports
This wraps up Malaysiakini's coverage of the Semenyih by-election.
Reporting by Kow Gah Chie (team leader), Haspaizi Zain, Wong Kai Hui and M Fakrull Halim. Photography by Lim Huey Teng and Azneal Ishak.
KiniTV ground video team Baharuddin Suarnur, Azfar Afandi Zulkfley, Vivian Yap, Faye Liow, Faidzal Mokhtar and Mastura Malak. Graphics and social media blast by Syariman and Ewe Ying Yenn. Analysis by Andrew Ong.
To cover the by-election today, Malaysiakini deployed half its editorial team and nearly the entire KiniTV team. If you like what we do, support independent media by subscribing to Malaysiakini for as low as RM0.55 a day. Details here.
5.30pm - Polling in Semenyih has come to an end.
Stay tuned to Malaysiakini for the results.
Voting nears end
5pm: Voting for the Semenyih state seat will close at 5.30pm.
Turnout surpasses past three by-elections in S'gor
4.30pm: Voter turnout for the Semenyih by-election as of 4pm is at 68 percent.
This far surpasses the turnouts in all three by-elections in Selangor last year.
The highest turnout at a by-election in the state last year, was in Sungai Kandis, where only 49.8 percent cast their ballots.
Voter turnout 63pct at 3pm
3.45pm: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout as of 3pm is 63 percent. Polling ends at 5pm.
With three hours to go, turnout at 56pct
2.25pm: The Election Commission announces that voter turnout as of 2pm is 56 percent.
In GE14, the final turnout for the Semenyih seat was 88 percent.
Voter turnout 50pct at 1pm
1.40pm: The Election Commission announces that voter turnout as of 1pm is 50 percent. The state constituency has a total of 54,503 registered voters.
Rosmah banner 'scornful, provocative', says EC chief
1.30pm, SMK Bandar Rinching: Election Commission chief Azhar Azizan Harun condemns a banner with the image of former premier Najib Abdul Razak's wife, Rosmah Mansor.
He says the banner which mocked Najib's 'Bossku' campaign by stating that Rosmah is the real boss can disrupt the peace.
"I think it is scornful and provocative. I hope this can be stopped,"he tells the media.
Azhar also reminds all quarters that campaigning activities are not allowed on polling day, including giving free food or saying “vote for us”.
However, he says carrying flags and wearing party attire 50 metres from the polling stations do not constitute election offences.
He urges electoral watchdog Bersih and media personnel to lodge complaints with the EC if they witness any election offences.
The EC chief also reiterates that setting up "barung panas" is not allowed under the law and the commission's enforcement teams have instructed them to stop doing this.
"However, if it is just a hut for their officers to rest, smoke or have drinks, and there is no activity to fish for votes, then it is allowed," he adds.
Lokman tears 'Rosmah is boss' poster
1pm, Beranang: Umno supreme council member Lokman Adam tears a banner of Rosmah Mansor which earlier sparked off an altercation between supporters of Pakatan Harapan and BN.
The banner mocked former premier Najib Abdul Razak's 'Bossku' campaign, stating that it is his wife who is the real boss.
Election Commission officials had attempted to remove the banner earlier but Harapan supporters prevented them from doing so.
Voter turnout 44pct as of noon
12.30pm, Semenyih: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout as of noon is at 44 percent. The state constituency has a total of 54,503 registered voters.
Tempers flare over 'Rosmah is the boss' banner
11.30am, Beranang: A commotion erupts at the Sesapan Batu Rembau polling centre between BN and Pakatan Harapan supporters.
This is over a banner with an image of former premier Najib Abdul Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor. The caption reads, “Siapa boss? Aku lah boss (Who is the boss? I am the boss).”
Harapan supporters also prevented Election Commission officials from removing the banner.
Malaysiakini understands that EC will file a police report on the incident later.
BN cries foul as vehicles enter restricted area
11.10am, Sekolah Rendah Agama Batu Tiga, Jalan Bangi: BN complains of two incidents where Pakatan Harapan purportedly entered within 50 metres of the polling centre.
Hulu Langat MIC Youth chief SR Chandrathevan says a white Perodua Alza with a Harapan logo on its bonnet entered the restricted area to drop off a voter.
He accuses the Election Commission of not doing its job. “Are they neutral?” he asks.
Chandrathevan says he will discuss with party leaders to decide on the next course of action.
Meanwhile, a four-wheel drive also passes the polling centre playing the "Pergi Mengundi" song.
"How can this (truck) enter the (restricted) area?" asks Chandrathevan.
Met later, an EC official instructs his staff not to allow the vehicle within the restricted zone.
He also expresses unhappiness with BN renting a house within the restricted area to be used as a resting place.
EC: Voter turnout 28pct as of 10am
10.45am, Semenyih: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout is at 28 percent as of 10am. The state constituency has a total of 54,503 registered voters.
Yesterday, think-tank Ilham Centre said BN appears to have the edge but a high voter turnout can tip the scales in Pakatan Harapan's favour.
Did Aiman breach law with 'God willing, they vote Harapan' remark?
10.30am, Semenyih: Pakatan Harapan candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali expressed hope that voters will cast their ballots for him.
This statement has led to the question if the candidate violated election laws, which forbids canvassing for support on polling day.
Met by some 30 media personnel after casting his ballot this morning, he says, “Insya-Allah (God willing), the voters will make the right choice... Insya-Allah, all of them vote Harapan, vote Aiman Zainali. Thank you."
PSM claims Harapan, BN still canvassing for votes
9.45am, Semenyih: PSM claims that Pakatan Harapan and BN are still openly canvassing for votes outside four polling centres.
The party's campaign director S Arutchelvan says a report has been filed with the EC and photographs were also submitted.
“It appears that EC is toothless just like during the time of BN,” he adds.
Artuchelvan says PSM ceased all its campaign activities at the stroke of midnight in accordance with the law.
“PSM believes in free, fair and clean elections. But what is happening today is totally disappointing and EC is helpless. This is against the spirit of new Malaysia,” he adds.
Uncle Kentang: I may not get their votes, but I have their hearts
9.30am, Dewan Orang Ramai Semenyih: Independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng is unfazed by the prospect of losing his deposit.
Known as “Uncle Kentang”, he vows to continue serving the people of Semenyih regardless of the outcome.
“I do not see any chances of winning. For me, this is not about Pakatan Harapan or BN winning. It is about the people winning.
"I may not get their votes but I have their hearts," he tells reporters.
Voter turnout 15pct as of 9am
9.35AM: The Election Commission announces that the voter turnout is at 15 percent as of 9am. There are 54,503 registered voters in the state constituency.
Zakaria hopes to celebrate birthday with win
9.00am, Beranang: BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi says it will be extra special if he wins since today is also his birthday.
He hopes that the voters will make the right choice in determining their next state assemblyperson.
Voter says Harapan needs time to transform nation
8.45am, SK Bandar Bukit Mahkota: Voter Sharudin Said says he will support Pakatan Harapan because he believes the coalition needs more time to transform the country.
"I will give Harapan five years," the 40-year-old civil servant tells Malaysiakini.
However, he says many of his friends and the older generation of voters in Semenyih will cast their ballots for BN.
"They (BN) played the racial card," he adds.
Sharudin says some Malays are unhappy with the Harapan government for focusing too much on the faults of the previous administration instead of moving forward to resolve issues like the rising cost of living.
"My father is a Felda settler. Today, Felda settlers are considered to be bottom 40 (B40)," he adds.
8.35am, Beranang: BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi, who is accompanied by his wife, Katijah Beebi Bayi Khan, leave the polling station at the Kampung Sesapan Kelubi community hall after having cast his ballot at around 8.10am.
8.15am, Dewan Orang Ramai Semenyih: PSM candidate Nik Aziz Afiq arrives at the polling centre to cast his vote.
Accompanied by his father, Abdul Abdul Karim, and PSM campaign manager S Arutchelvan, he is hopeful of a good outing.
"Since the election sentiment is a bit different in this by-election, I think we may have a better chance this time. We will let the people make their decision," says Nik Aziz.
"I think we have tried our best over the past two weeks of campaigning, so I will let Allah decide and whatever the result, I will accept it with an open heart."
Meanwhile, Arul says PSM has had a good campaign in this by-election as various local issues were highlighted.
7.55am, SMK Engku Hussain: Pakatan Harapan candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali is at the Engku Hussain secondary school in Kampung Baru Semenyih, which serves as a polling station, to cast his ballot.
He is with his wife, Nurul Filzah Bakhtiar, and they both join the queue with 15 other voters.
The SMK Engku Hussain polling station has 2,326 registered voters.