Despite his unsteadiness and difficulty walking, there was a skip in his step as Lim Wei Hoong came out to vote at Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Yoke Kuan, here this morning.
Wei Hoong, 33, a person with Down Syndrome was at the polling centre with his two younger sisters at 9 am, determined to exercise his fundamental right.
According to his sister, who only wanted to be known as Lim, her brother had been looking forward eagerly for polling day since yesterday.
“For days, he has been asking us where the polling centre is, what time we have to be there and today he woke up extra early.
"We didn't have to teach him anything or remind him of the symbols as he is well aware of the process as this is his second time and he knows who he is going to vote for,” she told Bernama when met at the polling centre.
When asked how he felt being part of the election process, Wei Hoong said “I am very happy”‘
Equally thrilled to be out voting today, is another Down Syndrome person in Kuala Terengganu, Rubee Nur Amirah, 30.
When met at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pusat Cabang Tiga in Kuala Terrenganu, Rubee said she couldn’t wait to show off her inked finger to her teachers in school.
According to her mother Rabiah Ismail, 60, although Rubee doesn’t know what the elaction is all about, she had expressed her desire to vote and was ready to go from early in the morning.
“We encouraged her to go ahead. It doesn’t matter who she vote for, at least she knows voting is important,“ said Rabiah.
Rubee was casting her vote for the Wakaf Mempelam state seat and Kuala Terengganu by-election, and this is her second time to vote in an election.
Meanwhile, in Kedah, a visually impaired couple Roseri Ismail, 52, and his wife Rohana Abdul Manaf, 50, were among voters waiting in line at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Dusun, Sik.
Roseri and Rohana who live in Kampung Namek Tua arrived at the school at 9.45 am with the help of a friend, Dahari Ahmad, 72, who also came to cast his vote for the Belantek state seat.
“Every time there is an election, my wife and I will make a point to exercise our voting right,“ said Roseri who has been blind since birth.
Rohana said they chose to come out early to avoid the crowd and possibility of rain later in the afternoon.
Meanwhile in Kelantan, physically disabled Mohd Saiful Fahmi Yaakub, 36, was at the polling centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Islah, as early as 9.30am accompanied by father Yaakub Harun, 63, brother Mohd Adli, 39, and sister Siti Khadijah Farhana, 33.
Yaakub said Mohd Saiful, who could only crawl and the second of five siblings, had never missed the opportunity to cast his vote despite having to depend on three people to help get him in and out of a car.
“Whenever he is asked if he would Iike to go out to vote, he would nod incessantly and give a wide grin.
“"Thankfully the voting process for people with disabilities is smooth and well facilitated, within five minutes everything was over,” Yaakub told reporters at SK Islah, a polling centre for the Tanjong Mas state seat.
Another voter with physical disabilities was Normazni Mohd Sharipudin, 40, from Kampung Paya Bembam who arrived at SK Islah at about 9am with her husband who has hearing impairment.
Normazni who is deaf and mute, said she had to use sign language to communicate with the EC officials, but this has not been a problem for her to fulfil her civic duty.
"I am all out to vote for a leader who is trustworthy and cares for the welfare of the people especially those like me. I urge all those with disabilities to come out to vote as every vote counts.
"I hope that the results of the polls today will bring changes for the better in Kelantan,“ she told reporters via WhatsApp.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency