PETALING JAYA: PAS vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar has described Perikatan Nasional’s landslide victory in the Kemaman parliamentary by-election tonight as a stepping stone for the coalition to return to Putrajaya.
In a short speech to PAS supporters gathered at Arena Square in Kemaman, the Terengganu menteri besar thanked them and the party’s election machinery for helping ensure the victory.
“What we have today in Kemaman, with this whopping majority, is thanks to your hard work. And it opens the door for us to head to Putrajaya,” he said, as they awaited the confirmation of the results.
The Election Commission later announced that Samsuri had polled 64,998 votes for a 37,220-vote majority over his Barisan Nasional rival Raja Affandi Raja Noor, who received 27,778 votes.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said tonight that the larger majority was “a clear signal” that the people rejected the Pakatan Harapan-led unity government.
State Bersatu chief Razali Idris said the PAS victory had also been made possible by Umno and Barisan Nasional supporters.
“Thank you to PAS and PN’s machinery, and thank you to the 10,000 votes that came from Kemaman Umno,” he said. “Thank you Kemaman Umno.”
Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, in a Facebook posting, congratulated PAS for their “great victory” but said the result did not affect the position of the unity federal government coalition.
Samsuri, was in a straight fight with Raja Affandi in the by-election, which was called after the election court annulled the victory of PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid in the general election in November last year.
The election court held that the distribution of government aid to voters during the campaign period constituted election bribery.
Che Alias won a second term in the seat with a 27,179-vote majority over his closest rival, Terengganu Umno chief and former menteri besar Ahmad Said, who polled 38,535 votes. The other two candidates were Hasuni Sudin of Pakatan Harapan and Rosli Ab Ghani of Pejuang.