TANJUNG MALIM, Aug 30 (Bernama) — The BN victory with a big majority in the Slim state by-election is a clear signal that the people are giving their blessings to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, said a political analyst.
Yesterday, BN retained the state seat through its candidate Mohd Zaidi Aziz with a 10,945-vote majority after obtaining 13,060 votes.
Meanwhile, his opponents, two Independent candidates, a lawyer, Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, representing Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) obtained 2,115 votes and former teacher S. Santharasekaran garnered only 276 votes, thus losing their election deposits.
Senior lecturer in Politics and International Affairs, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Mohd Shukri Shuib said that the people could clearly assess that BN, which is part of the PN coalition, is capable of looking after their ‘periuk nasi’ (source of income), especially when the country and the world are facing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The number of votes for the BN candidate show the blessings of the people to the government and the policies that are being carried out, including concerns towards the people’s source of income and ‘dapur rakyat’ (people’s kitchen) as a result of COVID-19.
He said that with various popular policies implemented by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, it was easy for the BN, PAS and Bersatu machinery to carry out campaign activities and give victory to their candidate, especially since Slim state constituency is a stronghold of UMNO,” he said when contacted by Bernama here.
On the defeat of Amir Khusyairi, Mohd Shukri said that the support of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not a merit to ensure the candidate’s success, especially after the failure of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government he led.
Expressing the same sentiment, deputy director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Associate Prof Dr Kartini Aboo Talib said that Dr Mahathir is now irrelevant and unimportant.
“I think this is a total rejection of Dr Mahathir after he and PH failed to deliver their promises to the people and it was compounded with the fact that PH’s MPs, on average, have no administrative experience,” she said.
Apart from that, Kartini said that the results of the by-election also clearly proved that it was difficult for other parties to wrest the Slim state seat from BN.
The Slim state by-election was held following the death of its four-term assemblyman, Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib of BN, from a heart attack on July 15 and in the 14th General Election (GE14) he won with a majority of 2,183 votes.
A total of 15,451 people or 68.40 per cent of the 23,094 registered voters went out to exercise their rights in the by-election, which was the 12th by-election after the GE14.