KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) majority in Tenang would have been higher if not for the flood that hit the northern Johor constituency.
The BN chairman however was happy that the three Felda settlements in Tenang continue to be the coalition’s stronghold.
“Our majority increased by 50 per cent despite a low turnout. The majority would have been bigger if not for the flood,” Najib told a press conference after chairing a BN supreme council meeting here.
“The three Felda areas gave us 2,500 majority out of the 3,707 votes. This means that the opposition campaign that the Felda is on the verge of bankruptcy, which is a lie, settlers and the second generation rejected them,” he added.
Najib also claimed that BN was successful in restoring the non-Malays support in the Tenang by-election.
“We are happy with our performance despite the continuous attack,” said Najib.
In the January 30 by-election BN’s Azahar Ibrahim won the state constituency by 3,707 votes against PAS candidate Normala Sudirman.
Shortly before polling closed, the Election Commission (EC) had to deploy boats to ferry voters to four polling centres as heavy rains flooded several areas in the constituency.
BN had initially targeted a victory margin of 5,000 votes. It retained Tenang in 2008 by 2,491 votes, half the majority obtained in 2004.
On the remarks by the Sultan of Johor “certain group” had refused to join the existing congregation when performing prayers during the Tenang campaign, Najib described it as an isolated incident.
“That was an isolated incident, but most importantly PAS will not be able to expand in Johor,” said Najib.
BN currently controls 50 of the Johor state assembly seats, while DAP has four and PAS, two.