Four-cornered fight in Rantau by-election

Candidates for the Rantau by-election (from left) Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Pakatan Harapan’s Dr S. Streram, independent candidates Mohd Nor Yassin and Malar Rajaram pose for a group picture at the nomination centre March 30, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Candidates for the Rantau by-election (from left) Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Pakatan Harapan’s Dr S. Streram, independent candidates Mohd Nor Yassin and Malar Rajaram pose for a group picture at the nomination centre March 30, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

RANTAU, March 30 — The by-election for the Rantau state seat will see a four-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Pakatan Harapan’s Dr S. Streram and two independent candidates, who have joined the fray.

Mohamad, who is Umno acting president, was the first to submit his nomination papers at the nomination centre in SJK (C) Bandar Sri Sendayan as soon as it opened at 9am, followed 10 minutes later by Dr Streram, the PKR Rembau chief.

Next were Malar Rajaram, a housewife and community organiser from Port Dickson, and Mohd Nor Yasin, both handing in their nomination papers as Independent candidates by 9.15am.

The nomination centre closed at 10am.

The by-election was called after the Federal Court dismissed an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the Seremban Election Court decision on November 16 to declare his unopposed victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void.

In the polls last May, Mohamad was declared the winner after Dr Streram was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the Election Commission.

The Malay-majority seat has 20,926 registered voters, comprising 20,804 ordinary voters, 118 early voters and four absentee voters.

The Rantau by-election is the seventh since GE14. By-elections have been held for the Sungai Kandis state seat (August 4 last year); Balakong and Seri Setia state seats (September 8 last year); Port Dickson parliamentary seat (October 13 last year); Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat (January 26) and Semenyih state seat (March 2).

Polling in the Rantau state seat by-election will be held on April 13, with early voting on April 9.

* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.