SANDAKAN, May 11 (Bernama) — Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun has described the Sandakan parliamentary by-election as the best by-election held under his watch.
He said this was evident from the smooth conduct of the by-election, maintenance of public order and high level of discipline shown by supporters of political parties, the candidates and voters.
“They were very disciplined and respected the law and election regulations; I feel this is a model of a good election,” he told reporters after the announcement of the Sandakan by-election results here tonight.
Asked on the lower voter turnout, Azhar said this is normal in a by-election.
“The voter turnout today is 54.4 per cent or 21,595 voters; normally there will be fewer voters compared to general elections,” he said, adding that many voters working outside Sandakan might not have returned to cast their ballots.
The Sandakan by-election is the eighth by-election held after the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9 last year, with the first being for the Sungai Kandis state seat on August 4; Balakong and Seri Setia state seats (September 8); Port Dickson parliamentary seat (October 13); Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat (January 26); Semenyih state seat (March 2) and Rantau state seat on April 13.
Vivian Wong retained the Sandakan seat for DAP with a bigger majority of 11,521 votes.
Vivian polled 16,012 votes while her nearest rival Datuk Linda Tsen of Parti Bersatu Sabah obtained only 4,491 votes in a five-cornered fight.
Vivian’s father, two-term Sandakan MP the late Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, had won the seat with a 10,098-vote majority in GE14.
The by-election was held following the death of Stephen on March 28. — Bernama