ROMPIN: The return of Chinese voters to Barisan Nasional’s fold is a good sign.
In welcoming this, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said the Rompin by-election was different from the general election.
“We will not take things for granted and will continue to engage and listen to them.
“Any problems will be addressed and we will look after all communities,” he said shortly after Barisan’s romped to victory in Rompin despite a reduced majority.
Datuk Hasan Arifin won the seat with a majority of 8,895 votes compared to 15,114 votes in the 13th general election.
Hasan polled 23,796 votes against 14,901 votes garnered by Nazri Ahmad of PAS.
Rompin MCA division chief Fong Kon Chu said the party’s members were campaigning very hard on the ground to help win back Chinese voters.
“I’m glad our efforts paid off. It shows that the ploy by the Opposition to use issues such as Goods and Services Tax did not work.
“We will continue to be on the ground and help address their concerns,” he said.
Fong said Chinese votes would be even higher if it was a weekend as some were working outstation.
Hasan thanked all voters and pledged to come up with plans to develop Rompin.
“I will liaise with the local leaders and relevant authorities to resolve any pressing problems.
“Issues related to Felda and orang asli will be my priority,” he said.
Hasan said he would also meet with party workers and strategise measures to regain lost ground.
Pahang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Seri Sharifuddin Abdul Ghani praised supporters from both sides for following police directives.
“Overall, the polls was smooth with no untoward incidents,” he said.
Special officer to the Pahang Mentri Besar (Indian affairs) Senator Datuk R. Goonasakaren said over 80% of Indians, including those from outstation, had returned to vote.
He said most Indian voters backed Hasan and Barisan.
Rompin Umno Youth chief Datuk Mohd Johari Hussain said the results showed Umno must work even harder to get back the lost votes.
He added that many outstation voters did not return which saw a lower voter turnout.
Meanwhile, PAS said despite losing, it was happy with its showing.
Its vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party was proud to be able to reduce Barisan’s majority by about 6,000 votes.
He said PAS won in five polling districts compared to just one previously.
“We found that there was an increase among younger voters,” he said.
Nazri said he had benefited from the experience in the by-election and that he would work hard for future elections.