KLANG: Every polling district centre in the state will be in action on March 17. Barisan Nasion­al is running a nationwide dry run for the polls.

After weeks of closed-door meetings involving national leaders, the top Barisan leadership has ordered the dry run to ensure the readiness of the party’s machinery for the elections which, a Melaka insider said, is set to be held around the third week of April.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa said they tested the efficiency of the entire system over the last two weeks.

“We want to ensure that all systems are in order. We are testing logistics, polling agents and all related components.

In Selangor, the dry run will test out Barisan’s strengths, as well as the viability of the available machinery and manpower as it wants to make sure everything runs smoothly and as planned on the actual day.

“Basically, it will be a practice run of the operational procedures on polling day, as well as to test out the polling day machinery,” Selangor Umno deputy chief Mat Nadzari said.

He said the exercise would also outline the responsibilities of those on duty on polling days and the things that need to be done to ensure there would be no hiccups on the actual day.

He added that there were various levels of machinery in the state’s more than 900 polling district centres.

Kapar Umno division chief Datuk Faizal Abdullah said the dry run was a culmination of several months’ practice.

He added that Barisan would be having a meeting on March 8 to discuss the dry run.

He said the only difference between the actual day and the dry run day was the length of polling time.

“The dry run will be held bet­ween 9am and 11am,” he added.

In Kota Kinabalu, a Sabah Barisan official said the dry run would involve all 25 parliamentary constituencies.

“Everyone in each polling district is expected to run through their voters and report back to their heads in the respective constituency.

“All information will be fed back to the state leadership and then to the headquarters,” he said.

Another official said some divisions in the state had already begun preparing for the dry run.

In George Town, Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said the state would also conduct a dry run, although he did not disclose further details.

He said a Penang BN meeting would be held today to finalise the details.

“I can only confirm the date of the dry run and other related details after the meeting,” Teng said.

Meanwhile, a Penang Umno division chief said Barisan had asked them the division leaders to pick a date from March 4 to practise the dry run before the actual simulation day on March 17.

The dry run, he said, was to test the voters’ data system, the Jalinan Rakyat Plus (JR Plus), vehicles, district polling centre and the Parliament war room.

“It is also to ensure that voters are brought out to vote as early as possible on polling day,” Mohd Zaid added.

In Johor, Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said they conducted a dry run for his constituency about a month ago.

“This is the most prepared BN has ever been,” he added.

In Melaka, the state Barisan Nasional will hold its dry run on March 11.

An insider from Barisan’s main election war room said the dry run would be held from 8am to 11am.

“We expect the voting day to be held by the third week of April and preparations are already being made to identify white, grey or black areas,” the insider said.

The insider, who has also worked in the Barisan war room in the past two elections, said the simulation exercise would be held simultaneously in all six parliamentary constituencies.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said he expected the elections to be held “very soon”.

Meanwhile, Melaka MCA chairman Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the party’s machinery was ready to face the elections “anytime”.