KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago said that rains last night caused floods in at least five schools in Klang that have been designated as polling stations for the 15th general election on Saturday, according to information he received from residents.
He said that he has repeatedly reached out to the Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh and other election commissioners to find out where people will vote if their polling stations are flooded.
This included two letters he had sent supposedly dated October 3 and October 10.
“But I have not received any acknowledgment or response,” he told Malay Mail.
He said the schools that experienced flooding were Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) 2 Simpang Lima, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Perempuan Methodist, SK Batu Belah, SMK Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Ladang Bukit Rajah.
“This lack of clarity or lack of standard operating procedures (SOP) is going to create a situation where fewer people are going to come out to vote.
“There are two issues, one is that the schools themselves are getting flooded, and the other is the access roads,” he said.
Malay Mail reached out to the EC through official channels at about 2pm for comment but has not yet received a response.
However, an EC helpline operator said that EC still had no change of plans for how voting will happen in areas affected by floods, and added that the Klang Municipal Council had not informed the EC of the flooding.
Following the call, Malay Mail also reached out to officers in the Klang Municipal Council to see if it has informed the Election Commission of the flooding — and is still waiting for a response.
Residents of Klang however are having mixed responses to the floods.
While some have been discouraged from voting, others have been emboldened to practice their right to vote.
A. Barath, 28, a resident of Taman Sentosa, Klang said that he has been on a business trip in Ipoh since last month and had planned to return home to vote but is now having second thoughts.
Inch-high water in the home of Low Jing Jing, a resident of Taman Setia, Klang, November 16, 2022. — Pictures courtesy of Low Jing Jing
“My house porch was flooded last night. If my car was there for sure water would have entered it.
“My voting station, SJKT Taman Sentosa, is flooded for sure. So how to vote?” he said, adding that he has been staying in the house of a family member in Ipoh.
A resident of Taman Melawis who only wanted to be known as Lavinya said that she isn’t surprised by the authorities’ lack of response to the issue.
“I knew they wouldn’t be prepared… but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they will announce something tomorrow,” she said, adding that she has not been discouraged from voting but does not know if the expected flooding on Saturday will allow her to.
Meanwhile, Low Jing Jing, a resident of Taman Setia said: “Have to vote! I told my mum that even if there is heavy rain on Saturday, we still have to go out and vote… my mom agreed”.
“If the school (polling station) is flooded, then we’ll just stop our car in a higher place and walk to the school,” she added.