You can’t vote wearing your T-shirt, Malaysian Indian told

Monday, January 31, 2011

LABIS - Malaysian Indian voter V. Kumaran had to choose between his T-shirt and his vote in a by-election to parliament held Sunday.

The 29-year-old ethnic Indian arrived at the Kampung Paya Merah polling centre here in a blue T-shirt with the words “BN” emblazoned on its pocket. BN stands for Barisan Nasional, the ruling alliance that eventually won the Tenang by-election.

He was told that he could not enter wearing the T-shirt proclaiming his political preference.

Kumaran, a first-time voter did not heed the instructions as he proceeded to the polling station. He was keen to cast his vote.

When an Election Commission official explained that he could not wear logos of any political party ito the polling centre, Kumaran removed his T-shirt and attempted to make his way into the polling centre shirtless.

This prompted supporters from political parties to cheer and clap and Kumaran appeared embarrassed and surprised with the attention he was getting, the New Straits Times said Monday.

Now shirtless, he was still not allowed in, and both BN and the opposition Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (Pas) supporters started handing him their T-shirts with party logos.

Realising that he could not please both, Kumaran finally swapped his T-shirt with a friend, before making his way into the polling station.

He lost his T-shirt, but not his vote.

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