SUNGAI BESAR: PAS’ Sungai Besar candidate Dr Abdul Rani Osman says he is unaffected by the results of the by-election today as it was expected that Barisan Nasional (BN) would win with the massive federal government machinery at their disposal.
The Meru state assemblyman also admitted that the Islamist party faced an uphill battle from the very start.
“In any by-election it is hard to win as BN uses all their government machinery.
“Although we have lost, it does not affect me as true victory lies in the hereafter,” he told reporters at the PAS Sungai Besar headquarters today.
Rani garnered 6,902 votes, losing to Budiman Mohd Zohdi of BN who received 16,800 votes.
Azhar Abdul Shukur of Amanah meanwhile received 7,609 votes, leading to a significant increase in majority for Budiman.
Previously the late Noriah Kasnon won the seat in the 13th general election by a 399 vote-majority. Budiman meanwhile, emerged victorious with a majority of 9,191 votes.
Abdul Rani, a former Selangor PAS commissioner however believed he had done his best against his rivals, Amanah and Umno despite both being backed by the state and federal governments respectively.
Meanwhile PAS Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the by-election showed how strong the Islamist party was despite being portrayed as “backward” by Amanah and Pakatan Harapan.
“PAS wishes to congratulate BN for retaining the Sungai Besar seat and would also like to thank our machinery as they successfully proved wrong the expectation that our party was backward as PAN (Amanah) had claimed.
“They said people would reject us and that we had a dark future as we were alone,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim said PAS did not obtain more votes due to the general feelings of the Chinese community there coupled with the number of PAS voters who were unable to return to their constituency to cast their vote.
“Based on what I have heard, some PAS voters could not return as they were unable to apply for leave from work. The economic burdens faced by voters is also among the factors why DAP lost in Teluk Intan (in 2014) and Rompin remained with the ruling coalition (in 2015),” he said.
The Election Commission reported a voter turnout of 74% at the Sungai Besar by-election today, down from 88% in the last general election.