KUANTAN: Pahang Barisan Nasional gained another victory when its candidate for the Sungai Lembing state seat, incumbent Mohd Sohaimi Mohamed Shah, emerged as winner in the re-election yesterday.
Mohd Sohaimi beat PAS Idris Ahmad by a majority of 5,405 votes when the results were announced at Dewan Sukpa, in Indera Mahkota, here, at 8.40pm last night.
The Barisan man polled 5,949 votes against Idris 544. There were 145 spoilt votes. Idris lost his deposit.
This means that Barisan now holds 41 state seats in Pahang. The sole opposition seat is Triang, which went to DAPs Leong Ngah Ngah.
Barisan won all 14 of the parliamentary seats in the March 21 general election.
The results reflect the total failure of PAS in all 25 state seats it contested, including the six it defended Kuala Semantan, Guai, Penor, Peramu Jaya (formerly Kuala Pahang), Jengka and Tahan.
Yesterdays re-election was called after the Election Commission found a misprint of symbols in ballot papers for the PAS candidate during the March 21 polls. The logo of Parti Keadilan Nasional was printed instead of the PAS symbol.
Returning officer Datuk Hashim Abdul Wahab said that 56.3% of the 11,790 registered voters cast their votes yesterday. The last ballot box arrived at 7.11pm.
Hashim said that many turned up to vote despite having voted last week.
Most of the voters shunned PAS' call to boycott the re-election, he said.
PAS had earlier announced that its supporters would boycott the fresh polls, claiming the EC had been negligent in supplying ballot papers for the election.
After the results were announced, Mohd Sohaimi said he would continue to work hard for the people.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, who was also present at Dewan Sukpa, said the result was sweet victory for Barisan and reminded elected representatives to start work immediately to serve the people.
Those who won in the election got the mandate from the people, which is a great responsibility that should be repaid via good service.
He advised the representatives to meet their constituents at least one a week.
The Sungai Lembing state seat is one of three in the Paya Besar parliamentary constituency.
The other two seats, which were also won by the Barisan, are Panching and Lepar.
In the 1999 election, Mohd Sohaimi beat PAS Sulaiman Derus by a 1,297-vote majority.
I believe the turnout is mostly due to the advice in the media by the EC asking voters to return here to vote. Im happy with the smooth running of the election here, he said when met by reporters after casting his vote at 9.10am in SK Nadak.
Sungai Lembing resident Liew Yean Ching, 70, said he did not mind casting his vote again because it was the peoples responsibility to choose the right representative for their constituencies.
My wife could not vote last week because she had to be in Kuantan but she is here with me today, he added.
Housewife Hasnah Chik, 42, said she lived 45km away in Kuantan but was a registered voter here.
I heard about the calls by PAS to boycott the polling. But it didnt have any effect on me because I wanted to vote, even if it meant voting for a second time.
My husband works in Kuala Lipis, which is more than 200km away, but he still returned to cast his vote for a second time.
Among the Barisan leaders who turned up in Sungai Lembing to support Mohd Sohaimi and election workers were newly elected Kuantan MP Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and state assemblymen Datuk Maznah Mazlan (Muadzam Shah), Pang Tsu Ming (Semambu), Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin (Lanchang) and Datuk Mohamed Jaafar (Jenderak).