AN­WAR TAKES FIRST BIG STEP TO PREMIER­SHIP

DATUK Seri An­war Ibrahim se­cures what is prob­a­bly the most sig­nif­i­cant win of his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

New Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DATUK Seri An­war Ibrahim took his first gi­ant step in the road to the premier­ship. If there were any con­cerns that any of his six ri­vals in the race for the Port Dickson par­lia­men­tary seat could se­ri­ously harm his chances, they were put to rest by the com­fort­able ma­jor­ity he won.

An­war is set to re­turn to Par­lia­ment as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pop­u­lar sea­side town. He is sched­uled to be sworn in to­mor­row when the leg­is­la­ture sits again.

This was con­firmed by De­wan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mo­hamad Ariff Md Yu­soff last night.

An­war left his six ri­vals trail­ing far be­hind, se­cur­ing 31,016 out of the 44,090 votes that were cast in the by-election.

He won with a 23,560-vote ma­jor­ity, sur­pass­ing Datuk Danyal Balagopal Ab­dul­lah’s 17,710 in the 14th Gen­eral Election. Danyal had given up the seat to en­able An­war to re­turn to Par­lia­ment.

An­war’s clos­est ri­val was not Tan Sri Mohd Isa Ab­dul Sa­mad, as many had ex­pected. In­stead it was Pas’ Lieu­tenant-Colonel (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, who came in sec­ond with 7,456 votes against Isa’s 4,230.

Isa, who left Umno to con­test as an in­de­pen­dent, said he had not thought about leav­ing pol­i­tics for good.

“Any­thing can hap­pen in the fu­ture,” he said.

An­war’s for­mer aide, Mohd Sai­ful Bukhari Azlan, who made a sur­prise en­try into the race, man­aged a mea­gre 82 votes. He came in last.

The 71-year-old for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter told a ju­bi­lant crowd that had gath­ered at a press con­fer­ence at the Pakatan Hara­pan main op­er­a­tions cen­tre in PD af­ter his win was of­fi­cially an­nounced that his “big” vic­tory was “un­ex­pected”.

He said the im­pres­sive ma­jor­ity he ob­tained in­di­cated that he re­ceived a big man­date from Port Dickson vot­ers, in­clud­ing Malays, Chi­nese, In­di­ans and Orang Asli.

“The pop­u­lar vote reached 75 per cent com­pared with the 14th Gen­eral Election, when it was only 48 per cent.

“The army’s vote, which pre­vi­ously didn’t favour us, has changed with an in­crease of 122 per cent — it is a huge in­crease,” he said, while con­firm­ing that he was ex­pected to be sworn in to Par­lia­ment to­mor­row.

He said he con­tacted Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, the Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia chair­man, who ex­pressed pride in the vic­tory.

His wife, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Wan Az­izah Wan Is­mail, and other PH lead­ers were at the PD Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil Hall when the re­sults were an­nounced.

Both Isa and Sai­ful were not with An­war on stage.

An­war, in chart­ing his path to the premier­ship, as was the plan laid out by the PH lead­er­ship, had said that he would al­low Dr Ma­hathir the lat­i­tude to ad­min­is­ter the coun­try.

He re­peat­edly said that this was to al­low the PH chair­man to put in place re­form poli­cies agreed upon by the rul­ing coali­tion, be­fore the reins were passed to him even­tu­ally.

Dr Ma­hathir, on his part, had also made it clear that he would likely stay on for two years be­fore pass­ing the post to An­war.

The voter turnout of 58.25 per cent in Port Dickson was way bet­ter than in the last three by-elec­tions in Sun­gai Kan­dis, Balakong and Seri Se­tia.

Of the three, Sun­gai Kan­dis reg­is­tered the high­est voter turnout at 49.4 per cent.

The voter turnout in PD was only 54 per cent just un­der two hours be­fore polls closed. But the num­ber surged to 58.25 per cent at the dead­line.

An­war made a clean sweep in all the vot­ing streams, ex­cept in Lukut, where the ma­jor­ity of votes went to Nazari.

There were 172 vot­ing streams in to­tal at 32 polling sta­tions.

The other in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates were Ste­vie Chan, who polled 337 votes, Lau Sek Yan got 214 and Kan Chee Yuen, 154.

All five in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates lost their election de­posits.

A to­tal of 598 votes were re­jected.

Reg­is­tered vot­ers in the Port Dickson con­stituency are made up of 43 per cent Malays, 33 per cent Chi­nese, 22 per cent In­di­ans and oth­ers at two per cent.

PIC BY HAZREEN MO­HAMAD

PKR pres­i­dent-elect Datuk Seri An­war Ibrahim is an­nounced as the win­ner of the Port Dickson par­lia­men­tary by-election at the Port Dickson Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil Hall.

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