Election workers urged to get ready

SIBU: Returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs) in the state were told to be prepared because the general election would be called at anytime.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the coming election would likely see keen contests, especially in Sarawak. “That is why I want them to be prepared, read the election laws and know the subject matter well so they can face any situation with confidence,” he said after briefing 79 ROs and AROs here yesterday.

He said that every political party had its own supporters who could come from anywhere, including Peninsular Malaysians whom he described as relatively more aggressive.

The ruling parties, he said, would try their best to make sure their seats remain with them while the opposition would go all out to win as many seats as it possibly could. The situations could be very taxing for ROs and AROs to handle, he said.On another subject, Abdul Aziz said that some RM80 million would be needed to run the election in Sarawak alone, for chartering 4,000 4WD vehicles, 1,000 boats and 27 helicopters.

"Some 21,000 workers will also be involved in the election statewide,” he added.

Abdul Aziz also advised the 407,432-odd Sarawakians eligible to vote to register themselves quickly so that they could participate in the next election.

“Sarawak has 1,024,240 registered voters. Our target is to get at least 75 per cent of them to cast their votes,” he said.Also present at the briefing was state EC director Datu Takun Sunggah.

Borneo Post 13/4/2012

No more passes for party supporters, says EC

SIBU: The Election Commission (EC) will no longer issue passes to party supporters to accompany candidates to nomination centres on nomination day.EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said this is to discourage the practice of having hundreds of supporters accompanying the nominees.

“In the past we used to issue 100 passes for supporters of each political party, provide tents and refreshments for them.

We’ve decided not to give them passes this time,” he told reporters yesterday at the 13th general election briefing for returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs).A total of 79 ROs and AROs from 15 parliamentary constituencies in the central region attended the two-day briefing. Abdul Aziz said there was no positive correlation between the number of supporters at the nomination centres and the winning chances of the candidates. “Political parties say that is the time to show their strength. But from our observation, it is not necessary.

“We want to avoid clashes among the supporters of the political divide, and to ensure a peaceful situation,” he explained.In January, Abdul Aziz said the EC wanted to stop the “party atmosphere” created by hundreds of supporters showing up on nomination day. He was reported then as saying that only 10 supporters and representatives would be allowed on nomination day at each nomination centre.


Sarawak Population : 2010 Statistic

KUCHING: Statistics show overall increase of state’s population but decline in number of Chinese .

The Chinese are the only community which showed a decline in number between 2005 and 2010 although they maintain their position as the second largest ethnic group in the state.
Based on the latest statistics obtained from the Sarawak Statistics Bulletin 2012, the Chinese population in Sarawak declined from 590,300 in 2005 to 577,646 in 2010 – a drop of 2.2 per cent.

The Ibans are still the single largest ethnic group with a population of 713,421 in 2010 — an increase of 6.4 per cent from 670,400 in 2005.

The third largest ethnic group are the Malays with 568,113, followed by the Bidayuhs (198,473); Melanaus (123,410); other Bumiputera groups (156,436); Indians 7,411 and others 9,138.
Overall, the state’s population rose from 2.3 million in 2005 to 2.47 million in 2010 – a jump of 7.4 per cent.

Among the major towns and cities, Kuching, the state capital, remains the most populous with 617,887 people in 2010 — an increase from 567,200 in 2005.

Miri, the only other urban centre in the state with city status, has the second largest population with 300,543, followed Sibu (247,995) and Bintulu (189,146).

Among the 31 towns and cities in the state, four have fewer than 20,000 people. These are Dalat with a population of only 19,062; followed by Matu (17,369); Julau (15,816) and Pakan (15,480).
Major towns with a population reaching almost 100,000 areSerian (91,599) and Samarahan (89,923).

The 2010 population of other major towns are Sri Aman (66,790); Marudi (64,018); Betong (62,131); Sarikei (58,021); Kapit (56,053); Bau (54,246); Limbang (48,186); Saratok (46,094); Mukah (42,922) and Lawas (38,385).

The rural–urban ratio of the state’s population has narrowed markedly with only 52 per cent of the people living in the rural areas.

If the rural-urban drift continues unabated, it is likely that by 2015 there might be more people living in urban centres than rural areas.

Borneo Post 12/4/2012

Tuanku Abdul Halim installed as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara

April 11, 2012, Wednesday

LONG LIVE THE KING: Tuanku Abdul Halim and Tuanku Hajah Haminah Hamidun walk into Balairong Seri or Throne Hall of the national palace for the installation ceremony

KUALA LUMPUR: In a ceremony steeped in royal tradition, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’azam Shah, 84, was installed as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday at the new, majestic Istana Negara, here.
The installation ceremony, attended by eminent guests, took place at the Balairong Seri or Throne Hall of the national palace, with Tuanku Abdul Halim taking his Oath of Installation, marking the formal commencement of his tenure as the Supreme Head of the Federation.
The oath-taking ceremony was the culmination of yesterday’s installation proceedings.
Shortly after, the sound of nafiri (trumpet) and nobat (drum) reverberated in the Balairong Seri to the tune of ‘Perang’, followed by three shouts of ‘Daulat Tuanku’ (Long Live the King), led by the acting Datuk Maharaja Lela (Grand Chamberlain) Azwan Effendy Zairakithnaini.
This was followed by the firing of a 21-gun salute and the playing of the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ by the Royal Malaysian Air Force band, led by Lt Sabri Abdullah.
Some 900 guests witnessed the colourful and glorious ceremony, including the Malay Rulers and their consorts, the Yang Dipertuas Negeri, the Prime Minister as well as cabinet ministers and foreign diplomats.
The ceremony yesterday marked two historical significance for the country as well as for Tuanku Abdul Halim. Firstly, this is the second time that His Majesty was installed as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the first was as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1970 at the age of 42.
Now four decades later, Tuanku Abdul Halim was again installed to the position, as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Secondly, His Majesty is also the first to be installed at the new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta.
Adding to the uniqueness of the installation ceremony this time around is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. When Tuanku Abdul Halim was installed as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the prime minister at that time was Najib’s father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister of Malaysia.
The installation ceremony was telecast live by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).
It started with Tuanku Abdul Halim and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah making an entrance to the Balairong Seri, to the accompaniment of the blowing of the nafiri and the striking of the nobat by the Kedah Royal Nobat Group, playing the tune ‘Belayar’.
It was preceded by the entrance of acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela who led the royal arrival procession which also comprised the Holders of the Royal Regalia and Maces – the Cogan Alam (Mace of the Universe) and the Cogan Agama (Mace of Religion).
Both maces, which are made of silver, are part of the royal regalia and are also the Malaysian Government’s national insignia.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was attired in the official dress of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, called the Muskat, which is made of black wool and embroidered with gold threads, as well as the “Dendam Tak Sudah” headgear or ‘tengkolok’, and embroidered long pants.
Other royal regalia are the Royal Buckle or the ‘Pending Diraja’ which is made of gold and decorated with rubies, with an engraved centrepiece featuring the Federation Crest, while the belt is made of heavy ribbed silk and embroidered with floral motifs in gold thread.
There was also the Keris Pendek Diraja which was forged from the blades of antique keris. The hilt and sheath are made of ivory embedded with gold.
Her Majesty Tuanku Hajah Haminah was attired in the official dress of the Raja Permaisuri Agong which consists of a long dress, the ‘Gandik Diraja’ or Royal Tiara and the ‘Kalung Diraja’ or the Royal Necklace, both of which are made of platinum and studded with diamonds.
Their Majesties were then ushered to their thrones, marking the start of the installation proceedings.
The ceremony then proceeded with the entrance of the second group of bearers and Quran entrustment, with Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Datuk Awang Kechik Abdul Rahman bearing a copy of the Al-Quran, while other Istana Negara officials were bringing in the Keris Panjang Diraja, the Proclamation of Enthronement and Installation, and the Oath of Installation, accompanied by the striking of the nobat, playing the tune ‘Palu’.
The Al-Quran, the symbol of the sanctity of Islam as the official religion, was then presented to His Majesty by the Grand Chamberlain.
His Majesty then kissed it and placed it on a ‘rehal’ or Quran stand on a table placed in front of the Sovereigns’ thrones.
At this juncture, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak proclaimed the enthronement of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
This was followed by the presentation of the Keris Panjang Diraja or the Keris of the Government by the acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela to His Majesty, who drew the sabre, kissed it, and returned it to its scabbard and placed it on the table next to the Al-Quran.
His Majesty then took his Oath of Installation, pledging among other things to perform his duties in accordance with the laws and constitution, and to protect Islam at all times.
This was followed by the blowing of the nafiri, and three shouts of ‘Daulat Tuanku’ led by the acting Datuk Paduka Maharaja Lela and others in the Balairong Seri. Moments later, a 21-gun salute was fired, as followed by the playing of the national anthem ‘Negaraku’.
The prime minister, representing the government and the people, congratulated His Majesty and pledged loyalty to the newly installed Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
His Majesty then delivered his Royal Address.
The installation ceremony was concluded with the recital of prayers by Istana Negara religious officer Datuk Abd Aziz Che Yacob.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong left the Balairong Seri to the accompaniment of the blowing of nafiri and striking of the nobat, playing the tune ‘Belayar’.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was elected the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the 226th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Oct 14 last year, succeeding Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. — Bernama