#GE13* Sailors vote early, officer finds name missing

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LUMUT (April 30): A total of 12,857 navy personnel and their spouses are eligible to cast their ballots in the Royal Malaysia Navy base in early voting today for GE13.

They are among a total of 272,387 security forces personnel, policemen, members of the General Operations Force and their spouses who are eligible to vote at 544 polling stations nationwide today.

Voting at the polling centre at SMK Pangkalan TUDM Lumut opened at 8am and will continue until 7pm. There are 20 polling stations at the centre.

An assistant for Returning Officer Noorhayati Abdul Rahman said that the navy personnel had been lining up to vote since 7.30am.

As of 11am, 4,588 of them had cast their votes.

Among them was Nurlaila Md Tahir, 36, the wife of a naval officer who was voting for the first time here.

She said the use of indelible ink helped to remove doubts among those who were sceptical of the transparency of the process.

One officer, who had voted in 2008 as a postal voter, found to his disappointment that his name was not in the armed forces electoral roll.

Leftenan Saipudin Mohd Ariffin, 39, said that when he came to the polling centre this morning and sought to find out his voting station by keying in his armed forces identity card number, his name was not in the list.

However, when his civilian identity card number was keyed in, his name was listed in the electoral roll, meaning that he can only vote on the actual polling day.  

"This is the second time I am voting after I was recruited and based here since 2000. In last election, I cast my vote here through postal voting," he told fz.com.

He added that his wife's name was also missing from the armed forces roll.

When asked if he will cast his vote on May 5, he said was unsure at the moment.

Saipudin said he had registered as voter when he turned 21, and was initially an ordinary voter in the Lumut parliamentary constituency, before he joined the navy.

When contacted, Perak Election Commission director Ahmad Adli Abdullah said that he was unable to comment on this case as he did not have the voters' records.

When he was informed that Saipudin was a postal voter in 2008, Ahmad Adli said that must be verified, stressing that the commission cannot comment on the matter without further investigation.

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