PORT DICKSON – Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won today’s Port Dickson by-election with an even bigger majority than in the 14th general election (GE14).
The PKR president-elect’s majority was 23, 560 votes as compared to the 17,710-vote majority secured by Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, 68, of PKR, who vacated the seat on Sept 12 to pave the way for Anwar to return to Parliament.
With the victory, Anwar, 71, will be sworn in as the new MP of Port Dickson in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday,
Anwar obtained 31,016 votes, PAS candidate Lt. Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar secured 7,456 votes while former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who contested as an independent after quitting UMNO, only managed 4,230 votes.
Of the four other independents in the fray, Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 33, obtained the lowest number of votes at just 82; social media personality Stevie Chan Keng Leong managed to get 337 votes, management consultant Kan Chee Yuen ( 154 votes) and former private university lecturer and sole woman candidate Lau Seck Yan (214 votes). All four lost their deposits.
With this latest development in Anwar’s political career, he is just one step away from succeeding Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister. The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition had reached a consensus on this power transition before GE14.
The result was announced by returning officer Khairy Maamor at 9.14pm at the official tallying centre at Port Dickson Municipal Council (MPPD) Hall here.
The percentage of turnout as at 5.30pm after 32 polling centres closed was 58.3 per cent compared to 83.16 per cent in the GE14.
The rate of turnout is higher than the three earlier by-elections namely the Sungai Kandis state seat at 50.3 per cent, Seri Setia (44 per cent) and Balakong (43 per cent).
The Port Dickson by-election was held after it was vacated by Danyal Balagopal, 68, on Sept 12 to enable Anwar Ibrahim who recently won the PKR president’s post uncontested to return to Dewan Rakyat.
In GE14, Danyal Balagopal, a former Royal Malaysian Navy senior officer won with a majority of 17,710 votes to defeat Datuk V.S. Mogan of Barisan Nasional and Mahfuz Roslan of PAS.
Khairy said the total ballot papers rejected was 598 while 49 ballots were not returned.
The number of voters who turned up to cast their ballots today stood at 43,489 out of the total of 68,317 registered voters in the Port Dickson Parliamentary constituency.
On Tuesday, 63 per cent or 4,564 out of the total of 7.191 early voters comprising military as well as police personnel and their spouses had fulfilled their responsibility to vote.
The percentage of turnout for early voting in the by-election had thus dropped by 30 per cent compared to the 90 per cent who turned up to cast their votes in the constituency in the 14th General Election on May 9.
The Port Dickson Parliamentary constituency, which has been the PKR stronghold since 2008, has five State Legislative Assembly seats namely Chuah and Lukut which are controlled by the DAP, Bagan Pinang and Linggi (Barisan Nasional) and Sri Tanjung (PKR).