Malaysia

Barisan Nasional fails to win Sungai Limau, PAS majority reduced

PAS candidate Mohd Azam waves to the media as he arrives at the counting station in Sungai Limau tonight. The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 4, 2013.PAS candidate Mohd Azam waves to the media as he arrives at the counting station in Sungai Limau tonight. The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 4, 2013.

Barisan Nasional (BN) has failed to wrest control of Sungai Limau despite an unprecedented show of power and money as well as the presence of its big guns throughout the campaign period for the by-election.

PAS retained the seat with a reduced majority of 1,084 when its candidate teacher Mohd Azam Abdul Samat polled 12,069 votes against the BN’s Ahmad Sohaimi, who received 10,985 votes.

Mohd Azam arrived at the counting centre in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Yan at 8.20pm with his wife along with other Kedah PAS leaders.

Also present were Kedah PAS commissioner Datuk Mahfuz Omar, Kedah PAS treasurer Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and DAP's Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari.

The Election Commission pegged voter turnout at 85.5%. However, this is a drop from the 89.43% voter turnout in the general election on May 5. There are 27,222 voters in the constituency.

In the run up to the by-election, the Barisan Nasional charge led by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dished out a whole lot of goodies including some RM2 million in aid to three Chinese schools in the constituency.

The goodies galore took a different dimension on the eve of polling when a carnival type event saw household essentials like rice and sugar being sold at rock bottom price to voters.

A bag of 1kg sugar was offered for RM1 while a 5kg bag of rice was sold at RM5. The queues to the carnivals stretched for miles as voters lined up to grab the goodies.

However, it was to no avail.

The seat fell vacant following the death of its five-term assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak of PAS. Azizan was also the menteri besar of Kedah when it was under PAS rule for one term when the opposition won the state in the 2008 general election.

Last May, Azizan won the seat with a 2,774-vote majority in a four-cornered fight, which included his cousin Mohd Fazillah Mohd Ali as the BN candidate.

The Election Commission said earlier today that 83.2% or 22,642 voters had cast their ballots up to 4pm. Sungai Limau has 27,222 voters.

Except for a scuffle which left a Wanita Umno chief with a black eye, voting was trouble free.

Wanita Umno Bandar Baru Sentul chief Norsidah Abu Bakar was punched in the eye during a scuffle with a PAS supporter in Ulu Sedaka when she was on her rounds to greet voters.

The incident occurred when the 50-year-old refused to move away from the spot after being ordered to do so by several PAS members.

Norsidah, accompanied by Seputeh Wanita Umno chief Datuk Azizah Abdul Samad, lodged a police report. - November 4, 2013.

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