Kemaman polls: Low turnout by BN voters led to loss, says Zahid

PUTRAJAYA: The low turnout of Barisan Nasional voters led to the coalition's loss in the Kemaman by-election, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Umno president said it was not due to an increase in support for PAS.

"There is no increase in support for PAS candidates but there is a shortage of hardcore (pengundi putih) Barisan Nasional voters, especially Umno, of about 10,000.

Therefore, he said, when only 68.3% of hardcore Umno voters came out to vote, it led to the increased majority for PAS.

He added that this does not mean the unity government has lost the people's support, as Kemaman only has around 141,000 voters.

Asked about speculation that he would be quitting due to a cancer diagnosis, he replied:

"Indeed, I went for a prostate surgical procedure. But don't make all sorts of speculation. Alhamdullilah, I am healthy due to everybody's prayers."

On Dec 2, the Election Commission returning officer announced that PAS' Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar obtained a total of 64,998 votes while Barisan's Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor polled 22,778 votes.

The Terengganu Mentri Besar was named the winner with an increased majority of 37,220 votes

Ahmad Samsuri's majority surpassed his predecessor's majority of 27,179 votes in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The Kemaman by-election was called after the Terengganu Election Court ruled on Sept 26 that PAS’ Che Alias Hamid's victory in GE15 was nullified due to elements of corruption during the campaign period.

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