JOHOR BAHRU: The voter turnout for the 15th Johor state election stood at about 50 per cent as of 4pm on Saturday (Mar 12), according to Malaysia's Election Commission (EC).
Polling stations closed at 6pm and official results are expected later in the night.
Johor chief minister Hasni Mohammad was among those who voted in the Pekan Nanas state constituency.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate has contested the Benut state seat since 2008. In the 14th General Election, he defended the seat with a 4,447-vote majority.
A total of 239 candidates from 15 political parties are vying for 56 seats in the Johor State Legislative Assembly.
This is the first time that Johor’s election is not held concurrently with the federal election.
It is also the first time that youths aged 18 to 21 can vote in Malaysia, after parliament approved a Bill in 2019 to lower the voting age.
A total of 2,539,606 regular voters were eligible to cast their ballots on Saturday. This is out of the 2,597,742 voters registered for the state election.
The EC earlier said that it expected about 70 per cent turnout among the more than 2.59 million voters.
In the 14th General Election, Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the mandate to form the Johor government after winning 36 state seats, with DAP taking 14 seats, Parti Amanah Negara nine, PKR with five and Bersatu eight.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition won 19 seats while PAS took one.
However, the PH government in Johor collapsed after Bersatu pulled out from PH at the federal level on Feb 24, 2020.
Bersatu then teamed up with BN and PAS to form the Johor Perikatan Nasional (PN) government with 29 seats.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was in Johor on Saturday to observe the voting process.
He said earlier this month that the BN must achieve a “big win” in the Johor state elections to ensure stability in the state government.