KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that Pakatan Harapan (PH) still has the people’s trust despite losing two by-elections, pointing to his victory in the Port Dickson race.
The PKR president won the Port Dickson by-election last October with a margin of 23,560 votes on a voter turnout of about 58 per cent.
“I think the real yardstick to measure the people’s trust in us is not the recent by-elections and the upcoming one in Rantau, but the win in Port Dickson,” Anwar told reporters today after naming Datuk Dr S. Streram from PKR as PH’s candidate in the Rantau by-election next month.
“People forget that we won in Seri Setia, Sungai Kandis and Balakong before the Cameron Highlands and Semenyih by-elections, but the latter two are talked about most.
“Rantau is a smaller place and is the stronghold of Umno and Tok Mat so if we want to win we need to work extra hard,” added Anwar, referring to Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan who is expected to defend his seat.
After losing the by-elections in Cameron Highlands and Semenyih to an Umno-Pas coalition championing Malay-Muslim rights, Anwar said PH still decided to stick with Dr Streram as they want to fight for the rights of not only Malays, but the Indians and Chinese who make up 41 per cent of voters.
Malay voters make up 54 per cent of total registered voters of 20,926.
In the Sungai Kandis by-election in August last year, PH candidate Zawawi Ahmad Mughni emerged the winner with 15,427 votes giving him a 5,842 majority over opponent Datuk Lokman Noor Adam who received 9,585 votes whilst independent candidate K. Murthy received 97 votes. Only 49.4 per cent of the constituency of 50,800 turned out to cast their votes in the by-election.
At Balakong, DAP candidate Wong Siew Ki won with an 18,533 vote-majority of 22,508, defeating MCA’s Tan Chee Teong who received 3,975 votes. The Balakong by-election was called after incumbent Eddie Ng Tien Chee died when the car he was driving crashed into the rear of a lorry at KM11.6 of the Grand Saga Highway on July 20.
In Seri Setia, PH’s Halimey Abu Bakar managed to retain the seat, winning a 4,027-vote majority over his contender from PAS, Dr Halimah Ali. Halimey scored 13,725 votes, while Dr Halimah scored 9,698.
It was only in Semenyih and Cameron Highlands where Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates won. In Cameron Highlands political greenhorn candidate Ramli Mohd Nor was declared the winner of the by-election with a 3,238-vote majority over his closest rival from PH, M. Manogaran.
The 61-year-old Ramli secured 12,078 votes and is set to become the first Orang Asli MP ever.
Semenyih was a closer fight with BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi obtaining 19,780 votes with a majority of 1,914 votes. His closest rival, PH’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali, came in second place after garnering 17,866.
The Rantau by-election is set for April 13 with nomination day on March 30.