In Cameron Highlands, BN has PAS to thank for, says analyst

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang with Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan at a ceramah during the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign. (Bernama pic)

TANAH RATA: A political analyst said Barisan Nasional (BN) cannot take pride in its win in the Cameron Highlands by-election, saying it was due to support from PAS.

Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said PAS voters were the biggest contributors to the increase in majority for BN in Cameron Highlands.

In the general election last year, PAS got 3,587 votes. It did not field a candidate this time.

“In the last general election, the vote was split as the contest involved BN, PAS, Pakatan Harapan (PH), PSM and Berjasa,” said Awang Azman.

BN’s Ramli Mohd Nor obtained 12,038 votes, defeating PH’s M Manogaran (8,800 votes) and independent candidates Sallehudin Ab Talib (314) and Wong Seng Yee (276).

The 3,238-vote majority won by Ramli is an increase from the 597-vote majority that C Sivarraajh obtained previously.

Awang Azman said the results were not surprising, as usually the incumbent would be able to defend the seat, especially in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency which is a BN stronghold.

“Similarly in the four previous by-elections which PH won. PH must work harder in BN strongholds,” he said, referring to by-elections in Sungai Kandis, Balakong, Seri Setia and Port Dickson.

Meanwhile, Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer Md Shukri Shuib said today’s results should push PH to improve itself.

“The government must improve many things, including Felda. Do not look at them (Felda settlers) as your adversaries,” he said.

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan agreed that BN’s win was the outcome of its collaboration with PAS.

Mohamad said PAS’ assistance in the by-election drew PAS supporters to vote for BN.

He added that BN’s first victory after its defeat in the four previous by-elections would boost the party’s spirits ahead of the Semenyih by-election.