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PKR retains Kajang with lower majority

 | March 23, 2014

The next thing to watch out for is if PKR will proceed with its Kajang Move to replace Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor MB.

FULL REPORT

Wan Azizah KajangKAJANG: PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today defeated MCA vice-president Chew Mei Fun with a majority of 5,379 votes in the Kajang state seat by-election.

She polled 16,741 votes whereas Chew polled 11,362 votes.  There were 176 spoilt votes.

Election Commission’s returning officer Hasan Nawawi Abdul Rahman made the announcement at 9.12 pm.

Hassan also said that the recorded voter turnout was low this time, only at 72.1% (28,314 voters), compared to a turnout of 87.9 percent in the May 5 general election last year.

The Kajang seat, with a total 39,728 registered voters, fell vacant following the resignation of its PKR assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh.

In 2013, PKR’s Lee garnered 19,571 votes followed by Lee Ban Seng (BN-MCA) with 12,747 votes and Mohamad Ismail (Berjasa) 1,014 votes.

The three independent candidates who contested the seat were Mohd Iwan Jefrey Abdul Majib (249 votes), Ong Yan Foo (85 votes) and Mohd Khalid Kassim (83 votes). Lee won the seat with a comfortable 6,824 vote majority.

The majority obtained by Wan Azizah was much lower than what PKR had wanted. The party had been calling for voters to give Wan Azizah a majority of more than 10,000 votes to ensure Chew lost her deposit.

Wan Azizah: Sweet victory

Immediately after being announced as the winner, Wan Azizah said she was “relieved because this is such a sweet victory”.

“I’m thankful to all the voters who handed the victory to me and Pakatan Rakyat. And thanks too to PAS and DAP for this victory, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Selangor MB and PKR election director for this polls), and to all, Azmin (Ali) , Eli(Elizabeth Wong), Zuraidah (Kamaruddin) and of course Anwar (Ibrahim).

“The result shows that we have won based on the issues that we raised. We also found that votes from the youths have increased, and also votes from the Malays. This is a healthy trend and positive.

“This is not only a first step for Kajang but also towards Putrajaya,” she said.

When asked about the reduced majority, she said that was due to lower voter turnout.

“Voter turnout was low because this was only a by-election and it was expected. If the voter turnout had been higher, the margins would have been greater than what we received in the 13th general election,” she stressed.

Self-engineered by-election

The self-engineered Kajang by-election was part of PKR’s Kajang Move to place the original candidate Anwar Ibrahim, once he wins the seat, as the Selangor Menteri Besar to replace Khalid Ibrahim, who has fallen out of favour with the party hierarchy.

Anwar KajangPKR sold the idea that Anwar as the Menteri Besar of Selangor would make it easier for Pakatan Rakyat to take over Putrajaya in the next GE. The party also felt that Anwar was the right person to stop Umno from playing dirty tactics to win back the state.

To put the plan in place, Lee was asked to resign and Anwar was named as the candidate. Things however did not go according to plan when the Court of Appeal earlier this month found Anwar guilty of sodomy and sentenced him to five years jail. He is presently appealing that decision.

The verdict had ruled out Anwar from contesting and Wan Azizah was immediately named as the replacement candidate despite she easing herself into retirement from active politics.

It remains to be seen now if PKR will push forward its Kajang Move to replace Khalid Ibrahim with Wan Azizah as the new Selangor MB.

When asked on the next step for Kajang Move, Wan Azizah said her focus now was mainly on the constituency.

“We must show good governance. We must be a role model so that the voters can see that it can be translated towards governing Malaysia,” said the former Permatang Pauh MP.

She also insisted that position was not important to her. “What matters is service towards the Kajang constituents,” she added.

MCA increased its Chinese votes

Meanwhile MCA president Liow Tiong Lai said that the party was not demoralised with the defeat as it has increased support from its core base support group – the Chinese community.

“We have lost by about 5,000 votes but we have performed well because the Chinese votes bounced back from 16% to 25%,” he said.

Chew-Mei-Fun-at-Sg-Chua-Market-in-Kajang“We hope to increase the support to 50% in the future,” Liow added.

Liow also attributed the loss to a swing among young voters to favour PKR.  He however did not elaborate on that point.

However MCA performed very badly in the polling districts.

The BN component party only won Batu 10 Cheras with 578 votes against PKR’s 425 votes.  In Sungai Kantan, MCA won 1,038 votes whereas PKR scored 813 votes.

Comparatively during GE13, MCA won in four polling districts: Sungai Kantan, Taman Mesra, Sungai Sekamat and Taman Delima.

Chew meanwhile attributed her loss to the sympathy votes that Azizah gained by portraying herself as a victimised wife.

“I accept the defeat with open heart. I probably lost due to the sympathy votes,” she said.

In the run up to the polls, MCA’s main game plan was to reduce the majority of the PKR candidate. The party felt that it had a harder task when Wan Azizah was named as the candidate to replace Anwar.

Wan Azizah’s campaign was largely based on the prosecution of Anwar for sodomy and her call for justice for her husband.


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