Huge majority a surprise for BN ‘underdog’ Budiman


SUNGAI BESAR: Barisan Nasional’s Budiman Mohd Zohdi, newly-elected MP for Sungai Besar, said he was surprised by his big victory, as he had regarded himself the underdog in the by-election.

Budiman said he was optimistic of winning, but had not expected to win by a 9,191-vote majority, because the previous MP, Noriah Kasnon, was returned by only 399 votes in the 2013 general election.

Noriah died in a helicopter crash in Sarawak last month, causing the by-election to be called.

Budiman, 44, was elected state assemblyman for Sungai Panjang in 2013. He said he did not have any specific strategy for the by-election “but just wanted to be close to the people by meeting about 3,000 voters a day”.

He received 16,800 votes, while Parti Amanah Negara’s Azhar Abdul Shukur managed 7,609 votes and Dr Abdul Rani Osman of PAS polled 6,902 votes.

Budiman said his first mission would be to improve the market in Sekinchan. It had been poorly managed by the state government, he said. “I will try to resolve the problem because it was a promise I made when campaigning,” he said.

He would also open a community service centre in Sekinchan to handle problems faced by the people.