The Bukit Gelugor by-election has seen one of the lowest in voter turnout in recent history of by-elections in Malaysia.
Elections Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said there was a 56.04% voter turnout in the Bukit Gelugor constituency, which is made up of three state seats, namely Paya Terubong, Air Itam and Seri Delima.
The parliamentary constituency has 82,283 registered voters.
Abdul Aziz said the low turnout could possibly be due to the fact that a big party such as Barisan Nasional did not contest, and also due to the lack of outstation voters as many could have taken for granted that DAP was already on the winning side.
“Of course, they can’t blame it on Thomas Cup as it is only aired at night after polling closed at 5pm,” he quipped.
He added that the 56.04% turnout did not meet the minimum 75% turnout expected by the Election Commission.
He said that the EC had already taken all the necessary measures to facilitate the polling process and to ensure everything went well for voters in ensuring a comfortable and smooth sailing process for voters.
He, however, said parking problems and so forth at certain polling centres could have probably caused voters to change their minds and leave without casting their votes.
He said the EC would also study the contributing factors to the low voter turnout in Bukit Gelugor.
“In the future, we might consider holding elections in open spaces to ensure ample space for polling centres,” he told a press conference at Dewan Sri Pinang before the official announcement of the polling results.
In the most recent by-election in Sungai Limau, the voter turnout stood at 85%, while in Kuala Besut it was 80%, Kajang 72% and Balingan 72%.
The highest voter turnout today was at the SMK Kong Kin Caw 2, which saw a total of 63.64% of voter turnout. The lowest voter turnout was at SK Sungai Gelugor (36.47%).