Low turnout a sign of protest against PH?

SHAH ALAM: The low voter turnout in the Sungai Kandis by-election – 49.4% as opposed to 85.6% in the May polls – could be due to political lethargy among voters, but also an indication of a “silent protest” at the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, said a political observer.

Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Awang Pawi said many who had voted for the coalition last May could have been frustrated by what they felt was a lack of seriousness on the part of ruling politicians over their election promises.

PH had vowed to implement 10 promises from its manifesto 100 days in power, but Awang Azman said only two were fulfilled so far.

“Constituents came out to vote because they were confident in PH fulfilling their manifesto, however the PH has not proved so,” said Awang Azman.

PKR’s Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Lokman Noor Adam in the Sungai Kandis by-election today, seen as the PH government’s first test since its general election victory three months ago.

Zawawi got 15,423 votes, while Lokman obtained 9,585 votes.

Only 49.4% of voters came to cast their ballots, according to the Election Commission (EC).

Saying voters could have lost interest, EC deputy chairman Othman Mahmood expressed surprise at the low turnout despite efforts to encourage people to come out to vote.

“Even the weather today was good,” he said.