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Wednesday April 8, 2009

BN takes Batang Ai and Pakatan retains Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang

Barisan wins Batang Ai, Pakatan takes Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau

PETALING JAYA: It is status quo for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat after the keenly contested tri-elections.

Barisan retained the Batang Ai state seat, which it won in the 2006 state elections, while Pakatan coalition members PAS and PKR regained the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat and Bukit Selambau state seat respectively, which they won in the 2008 general election.

Barisan’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, 49, from Parti Rakyat Sarawak, defeated PKR’s Jawah Gerang, 55, with an increased majority to retain the Batang Ai seat.

In the 2006 state elections, Barisan’s Datuk Dublin Unting won against opposition Sarawak National Party’s Nicholas Bawin by 806 votes.

The by-election was called after Unting died on Feb 24 from a stroke.

In Bukit Gantang, the high voter turnout saw an increase in the winning majority for PAS’ Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

The 52-year-old former Perak mentri besar defeated Barisan’s Ismail Saffian and independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

Barisan’s battle for the Bukit Gantang seat became an uphill task when Nizar, who received sympathy votes, garnered more votes than Roslan Shaharum of PAS, who scored an upset win over Barisan’s Datuk Abdul Azim Zabidi in the 2008 general election.

Kamarul secured only 62 votes and lost his deposit.

In Bukit Selambau, PKR’s S. Manikumar won the seat, beating Barisan’s Datuk S. Ganesan and 13 independent candidates, who lost their deposits.

The seat was previously held by PKR’s V. Arumugam, who resigned over personal reasons.

Manikumar’s majority increased by 41 votes compared with Arumugam’s 2,362-vote win in 2008.

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