Latest news from Permatang Pauh (UPDATED 5.45pm)

5.45pm

Polling closed at 5.00pm. Malaysian Insider reported a 70% voter turn-out. PKR reports it closer to 80%. 5 buses were detained. YB Gobalakrishnan and his two sons were arrested and beaten up by the police.

4.30pm

Kuala Lumpur bookies have reduced the odds of Anwar winning by a majority of only 4,000 votes. UMNO has estimated that Anwar may win by about 6,000 votes. Gangsters have been going around the Chinese areas to warn the Chinese to not come out to vote.

4.15pm

It has been confirmed that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has flown back to KL, indicating that UMNO has lost and that he no longer sees any purpose in remaining in Penang. A few more busloads of phantom voters have been stopped. With barely an hour left till the polling stations close, and the thousands still stuck in massive traffic jams at police road-blocks, it is feared that many will not be able to vote -- thereby denying Anwar the 15,000-17,000 majority.
3.45pm

PKR workers have detained two busloads of phantom voters at Mengkuang Titi. Many police reports about fraud and vote-rigging have been made. Voter turn-out has exceeded 60% but still far short of expectations. UMNO, however, reports a 70% voter turn-out.

3.30pm

Malaysia Today has received a phone call from a reliable source that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has conceded defeat and has left for the airport. Can Malaysia Today's readers please confirm this information or whether this is a Red Herring meant to lull PKR supporters into complacency so that they don't work too hard to get the voters to come out and vote.

3.00pm

Voter turn-out is very low, estimated about 60%. Many factories refuse to declare today a public holiday. They will, however, allow their workers time off for a couple of hours but the massive traffic jams due to the many police road blocks are deterring the voters from going to the polling stations.

PKR is mobilising cars and motorcycles and is knocking on the doors of the voters who are yet to come out to vote and is ferrying them to the polling stations. The rain is also a stumbling block, especially when many depend on motorcycles for transportation.

1.40pm

Voter turn-out is still below 60% and that is worrying the people in PKR. Furthermore, most of the voters are from 'saluran 1' while those from 'saluran 3' are not coming out to vote.

1.15pm

Most voters checked their voter registration at the PKR pondok panas and YB Ronnie Liu estimated a landslide win for Anwar Ibrahim.

12.30pm

More than 50% have come out to cast their votes.

11.30am from Azmin Ali

UMNO and the police are attempting to prevent the Chinese and Indian voters from coming out to vote.

10.30am

Some PKR ‘pondok panas’ were abandoned. It is reported that BN may have bought off some party workers so that there would be no PKR pondok panas to service the voters.

There is a reported heavy presence of security personnel in the Chinese areas. It is suspected that this move is meant to intimidate the Chinese voters so that they do not come out to vote. Some security personnel were seen ‘marching in formation’ as if ready for confrontation.

UMNO is targeting to ensure that Anwar Ibrahim wins with not more than a 10,000-vote majority. If UMNO can reduce Anwar’s majority to a mere 10,000 votes then this will be accepted as a ‘victory’ for BN and a cause for celebration.

Forecasts from the ground say that Anwar may win with a 15,000-17,000 majority. Around 70% of the 58,000 voters are expected to turn out. 69% of the voters are Malays and 31% non-Malays. Anwar is expected to secure 55%-60% of the Malay votes and about 80% or so of the non-Malay votes.

The Bloggers from Kuala Lumpur, who have been campaigning and conducting ceramahs in Permatang Pauh since the weekend, are now on the ground visiting the polling stations. RPK’s wife is also making her rounds of the polling stations in a last-ditch attempt to woo the voters.

source: Malaysia Today

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