PUTRAJAYA: Barisan Nasional chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dismissed the opposition’s claims that its landslide victory in the Kemaman by-election on Saturday was a referendum against the unity government.
The deputy prime minister claimed there was “no increase in support” for PAS at the polls, describing the Kemaman electorate as merely a drop in the ocean compared to the national population.
He said BN suffered a decline in votes as 10,000 of its traditional voters did not go out to cast their ballots.
“We cannot consider this (by-election result) as a referendum. How can the decision of 141,000 voters in Kemaman be considered a referendum?
“I hope they (Perikatan Nasional) will stop daydreaming,” he said at a press conference here.
Terengganu menteri besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar defended the Kemaman parliamentary seat for PAS on Saturday, defeating his BN rival, Raja Affandi Raja Noor, by 37,220 votes.
Samsuri obtained 64,998 votes while Raja Affandi, a retired general and former defence forces chief, garnered 27,778 votes. This is larger than the 27,179-vote majority that PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid received in the 15th general election (GE15).
At a separate event, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said PN’s Kemaman win was nothing extraordinary since it had already won the seat in GE15.
He said the PAS win did not add to PN’s number of seats in the Dewan Rakyat, nor did it threaten the unity government’s position.
Meanwhile, Zahid confirmed that he recently underwent prostate surgery. He urged people not to speculate on the matter and said he is healthy.