ANWAR TAKES FIRST BIG STEP TO PREMIERSHIP
DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim secures what is probably the most significant win of his political career.
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.
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.