Where PH Stood Its Ground And Where PAS-Umno Marriage Was "Consummated"

BY-ELECTIONS

Where PH Stood Its Ground and Where PAS-Umno Marriage Was "Consummated"

The two by elections in Seri Setia and Balakong saw the lowest voter turnout in history, but some ripples did happen despite the seemingly low-key ongoings.

Never before in the history of by-elections have two by elections been held at the same time and yet not been able to capture the public anxiety. It also created the lowest voter turnouts in history - at 44 percent and 43 percent in Seri Setia and Balakong respectively. 

It was almost as if the whole nation ignored it. Even the media gave it quite mediocre play, despite Malaysian obsession with politics and the talk in the kedai mamak is still about the new government passing its first100 days' mark. 

It was as expected, extremely low turnouts of voters and the winnings of Pakatan Harapan candidates. 

It was as expected, extremely low turnouts of voters and the winnings of Pakatan Harapan candidates. 

Perhaps the only interesting elements were that PAS in Seri Setia gathered a wee bit more votes than in the past General Election and that MCA in Balakong, having for the first time ditched the Barisan Nasional logo, had managed to keep its deposit. 

PAS, however, increased its votes by 31 percent this time around, while Pakatan Harapan had a decrease of votes by 8 percent. 

Pakatan Harapan's Halimey Abu Bakar won the Seri Setia seat with a 4,027-vote majority. Halimey raked in 13,725 votes, ousting PAS' Dr Halimah Ali who got 9,698.

In Balakong, Pakatan Harapan's Wong Siew Ki of DAP won with a majority of 18,533 votes. Wong received 22,508 votes - an increase of 7.5 percent, while MCA's Tan Chee Teong got 3,975 votes.

In the GE, MCA lost its deposit here and thus, it was quite a feat for this party which was nearly wiped out to having managed to retain it this time around.

In the GE, MCA lost its deposit here and thus, it was quite a feat for this party which was nearly wiped out to having managed to retain it this time around.

Despite the two by elections happened without much happenings, one has to say that it was probably the hardest work for all the four candidates to try to extricate votes from constituents who had no interest to go and vote, having just taken part in the most intensive GE just about four months ago.  

The ceramahs, which are the main staple fare of elections in this country, were also very poorly attended and at times MCA were seen talking to itself on its own lorry. 

The big guns of Pakatan Harapan only came down to the state constituency on the last few days. Pending PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, despite sporting a bad back and a newly operated shoulder, danced to a Tamil song to get the votes in. 

(After all, Halimey of Seri Setia is known to be the candidate of Anwar's choice.)

Barisan Nasional and PAS top of the tops did not really show their faces there, and it was probably during these two by elections here the unofficial marriage of PAS and Umno was  "consummated", what with PAS supporting MCA in Balakong and Umno supporting PAS in Seri Setia.  

Former Prime Minister and former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, did not make a squeak anywhere near the two state constituencies after having come under hard fire over the defeat of Sungai Kandis by election recently.

The Election Commission also had to put in extra work sending out its officials around the two constituencies more than a few times yesterday to cajole voters to come out and vote. 

Some constituents say that the EC was actually to be blamed for having coincided the two by elections on the longest stretch of public holidays and not having predicted the bad weather. 

At the end of it, the constituents of these two state constituencies must be glad that it is all over and hope that they can return to normal lives without banners and leaflets in their faces.

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