EC readies for wet Sarawak polls

 (Bernama) – SIBU, Feb 23 — The Election Commission is prepared for the possibility of a flood occurring during the coming 10th Sarawak state election.

“Of course before we decide on the date for the polling, we will consult the meteorological department for the weather report, any possible occurrence of flood and so forth.

“But if any flood should occur, we are ready for it as we have faced such trying situation in the Tenang state by-election in Johor last month,” its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, said today.

He was met by reporters after launching a briefing session for 24 returning officers and their 51 assistants from the Kalaka (N37) to Balleh (N56) constituencies here.

He said the commission might have to spend extra in the eventuality of a flood although it had approved a budget of RM45 million.

“We have all the logistics in place as well. We are going to use 24 helicopters, 4,124 four-wheel-drive vehicles, 919 longboats and 63 speedboats given the vast area of the state, its widely scattered population pattern and its rough terrain,” he said.

Earlier in his address, he said there were Sarawak constituencies the size of the state of Malacca or even Pahang.

“These are the challenges. But if we have made the best and detailed preparations, we can overcome them,” he said.

Abdul Aziz also advised the officers not to feel intimidated in any occasion or situation.

“You should be in total control because you have the power delegated by the commission.

“If you have to make any decision and fast, you should do so based on the commission procedures and the laws,” he said.

A similar briefing will be held in Miri later for 15 returning officers and 39 assistants. — Bernama