PERMATANG PAUH, Aug 26 Just half-an-hour after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim voted at Sekolah Rendah Seri Penanti, a scuffle broke out between police and a bearded man in a PKR T-shirt.
The man was handcuffed and taken to the nearby Kubang Semang police station at 10.30am after stepping beyond a safety line imposed by police to separate opposing party supporters.
The fracas had caused an elderly woman who had just stepped out from the polling centre to be knocked down.
With a crowd of about 1,000 present, the narrow dual carriageway leading to the polling centre has been choked as both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional supporters continue to flock to the area, resulting in five FRU trucks moving in at about 10.25am.
Meanwhile, at SK Seberang Jaya, where BN candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah had voted promptly at 8am, supporters of both camps continue to lob verbal volleys at each other but there were no reports of violence.
Rumours of violence at SK Tanah Liat are unfounded. The road in front of the school is very narrow, leaving BN and Pakatan supporters shoulder-to-shoulder as they shout their support.
Despite this, police are on top of things and are holding a tight watch on things, stringently checking all visitors for proper identification before allowing entry to the school.
As of 1pm, election officers say 60% of the 1,750 registered to vote here have cast their ballots. This is in spite of police refusing to allow voters to park their motorbikes in the school compound in the midst of the midday downpour.
On Penang Island itself, a roadblock has been set up on the road leading to the Penang Bridge, causing all motorists heading out of the island to slow to a crawl even though police are not stopping anyone.