JOHOR BAHRU: Perikatan Nasional candidate Zulkifli Jaafar, conceding defeat in the Pulai parliamentary by-election here, has hailed PN’s success in reducing Pakatan Harapan’s winning majority in the seat.
He lost by 18,641 votes to Suhaizan Kaiat of PH, reducing the PH winning margin by 12,000 votes compared to the 2022 general election.
Zulkifli obtained 29,642 votes while Suhaizan obtained 48,283 votes, with 528 votes going to independent candidate Samsudin Fauzi.
“We lost but with dignity,” Zulkifli told PN supporters at the PN operations room. “The difference in votes before was very great, this time we have reduced the difference by more than 10,000 votes. We tried our best.”
He said the result made him very proud. The defeat was not the end of his political career, but another step on the path to success in the future, he said.
Zulkifli said he would continue to provide services to the local community.
The by-election today was held following Salahuddin Ayub’s death in July. Another by-election was held simultaneously for the state seat of Simpang Jeram, which Salahuddin had also won last year.
PH also retained the Simpang Jeram seat, with an increased majority of 3,514 votes.
The PH candidate, Nazri Abdul Rahman polled 13,844 votes while his rival, Dr Mazri Yahya of PN, obtained 10,330 votes and independent candidate S Jeganathan secured 311 votes.
In the 2022 election, PH had won the seat by a majority of 2,399 votes in a four-way contest against candidates from PN, Barisan Nasional and an independent.
PH and BN have since become coalition partners in the unity government formed by Anwar Ibrahim.