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PKR’s still a force in the opposition

 | May 9, 2013

Despite only winning 30 out of the 99 seats contested, the party won the second largest share of parliamentary seats in the opposition pact.


PETALING JAYA: Despite PKR’s valiant effort in the general election, the biggest winner in Pakatan Rakyat was DAP. The party gained 38 parliamentary seats.

In contrast the Anwar Ibrahim-led PKR managed to only win 30 out of the 99 parliamentary seats it contested, one short of the 31 seats it won in the 2008 general election.

Interestingly enough PKR’s singular ground support in most constituencies seems to have increased since 2008, lending support to views that 2014 will be ‘IT’ for the party and coalition.

Noteworthy too is the inroads the party made in state level seats in Sabah. The PKR-DAP combo won 11 state seats in Sabah as opposed to one (DAP) in 2008. PKR won the majority seats of the two. In the 2011 Sarawak state election the combo won 15 seats.

On the parliamentary front, PKR won nine seats in Selangor, four in Kedah and FT-KL, three in Penang and Perak respectively. It also wrested two seats each in Pahang and one in Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

Several of its leaders managed to win big against political giants from the opposing side. Among them were Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, party Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin, its strategist Rafizi Ramli and vice president N Surendran.

Nurul Izzah has now stamped her mark as a formidable player in Malaysian politics by decimating Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik for the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat.

Raja Nong Chik is the second big gun from Umno which she has vanquished.

In 2008, she was considered a political novice but went on to defeat Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who was then the Women, Community and Family Development minister.

In last Sunday’s polls, Nurul trounced Raja Nong Chik by 1,847 votes. She polled 31,008 votes against Raja Nong Chik’s 29,161.

Rookies did well

Another giant slayer was Shamsul. He thrashed Bukit Katil parliamentary incumbent and Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam by 5,447 votes.

Shamsul garnered 46,167 votes compared to the Umno Supreme Council member’s 40,720.

Fielding political newbies Rafizi and Surendran also proved fruitful for PKR.

Rafizi defeated Barisan Nasional-MCA’s Gary Lim with a overwhelming majority of 26, 729 votes. Rafizi garnered 48,183 votes as opposed to Lim’s 21, 454.

Surendran, meanwhile trounced BN’s Heng Seai Kie for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat. Surendran gathered 34,151 votes against Heng’s 25,714. He won the seat with a majority of 8,437.

But PKR also saw the political demise of two of its big guns – Saifuddin Nasution and Chua Jui Meng.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin failed in his bid to capture the Kulim Bandar Baharu parliamentary seat. He lost to BN’s Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir by 1,871 votes.

Saifuddin polled 24,911 votes against Abdul Aziz’s 26,782.

PKR vice president Chua also failed in his bid to wrest the Segamat parliamentary seat from MIC deputy president Dr S Subramaniam.

He lost the contest by 1,217 votes. Subramaniam garnered 20,037 votes against Chua’s 18,820 votes.

Anwar is Opposition Leader

Meanwhile it looks certain that Anwar will put his retirement plans on hold.

Before the 2013 general election, Anwar had announced that he would retire from active politics if he failed to wrest federal power in this time around.

But with his latest decision not to recognise the May 5 election results, that is unlikely to happen now.

Anwar argued that the May 5 electoral process were marred with irregularities, with allegations of phantom voters being allowed to vote and the indelible ink fiasco.

Much to everyone’s chagrin, the Election Commission (EC) failed to address the complaints made the opposition, fuelling speculations that something was amiss.

There is also the interesting fact as to who will lead the opposition in parliament when the new session sits.

With DAP having the most number of MPs, it should rightfully be Lim Kit Siang, the party’s national advisor.

But Lim had earlier this week cleared curiosity when he declared his support for Anwar as Opposition Leader.


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