How I Became A Polling Agent/Counting Agent

It’s been said that Captain Zaharie, captain of the missing MAS flight MH370, was a PKR Polling Agent in GE13.

Some people have therefore concluded that he is also a PKR member. Whether he is or not, I don’t know.

Well, I WAS a Polling Agent for Hee Loy Sian, PKR candidate for the Parliament Seat P105, PJ Selatan. I am NOT a PKR member. I am NOT a member of any political party. So how did I become a polling agent?

I saw an ad in MalaysiaKini, for training to be a Polling Agent/Counting Agent/Barung Agent (Observer). I signed up and learnt how the election process worked on the election day itself. I wanted to see for myself if there was any cheating, and stop it, regardless of who was doing it. The trainers were from Tindak Malaysia. We were free to be polling agents for ANY party we wanted to.

Although some may assume Tindak Malaysia to be associated with the opposition, I know very well that the group is disappointed with the opposition parties, as well. As much as it is obvious that I am not a fence sitter, I do want a fair election.

I read one heck of a thick election law compilation book to prepare myself.

Nearing GE13, I called Mak Khuin Weng, an independent candidate for Bukit Gasing, a Selangor state seat, N34. He was one heck of a by-the-book law-abiding guy. I have the utmost respect for him, since I strongly agree with his values. I asked if he needed polling agents. He said it would be better if I contacted the established parties to avoid being put in a polling center with too many agents (while other rooms may have less agents!)

I can’t remember if he gave me MCA’s number. It was common knowledge that volunteer agents for Barisan Nasional parties would get RM50 for volunteering. I honestly didn’t care who I was a polling agent for – I just wanted to be one, to see for myself.

I was busy at work and didn’t get around to calling MCA. I later got an SMS about a ceramah happening in PJ Hockey Stadium. I figured I might as well go there and ask if they were looking for polling agents!

I went there, asked the DAP counter, and they said they had enough agents already. The PKR office outside was closed, but an old uncle sitting outside said that there was polling agent training at 9am at PKR’s office in Sentosa, Section 17. I headed out right away, not caring at all for Rajiv’s speech. (Rajiv was the N34 candidate for DAP.) So, the next day, I went there, got a refresher course, and signed up to be a polling agent for PKR.

On 5th May 2013, I did my duty as a polling agent in the morning shift, and a counting agent in the evening. I got a “contractor meal” – fried rice – under the PKR tent, for my efforts.

I won’t elaborate more on the day itself – the reason being that I’ve spent too much time explaining to people the paper flow and the trays, but they really don’t understand it unless they were polling agents/counting agents themselves. And, due to the day’s events, I even changed my mind who to vote for!

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