PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar’s victory in the Kemaman by-election will hopefully bring down the national political temperature due to his moderate image, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Congratulations to Datuk Seri Samsuri. Hopefully he can perform his duties as a Member of Parliament,” said the Prime Minister when commenting on the results of the parliamentary by-election last weekend.
“On the national side, at least this is comforting because he portrays an image of moderation when compared to the (rest of the) PAS leadership who are deemed to be more extreme,” Anwar said, referring to Ahmad Samsuri, a vice-president of PAS.
“Hopefully this can bring down the hot (political) temperature,” he told reporters when met at the 2023 National Technical Profession Day.
The Kemaman by-election saw Ahmad Samsuri from Perikatan Nasional retaining the parliamentary seat which the Opposition coalition had won in the 15th General Election (GE15) last year.
Ahmad Samsuri, who is also Terengganu Mentri Besar, defeated Barisan Nasional’s Gen (R) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, with a majority of 37,220 votes.
Ahmad Samsuri obtained 64,998 votes while Raja Mohamed Affandi polled 22,778 votes.
Anwar said Umno, which is part of the unity government pact, did not manage to bring out its core supporters during the by-election.
“It looks like Umno has not been able to get (its members to turn out). Maybe there is an explanation. When we had a meeting between Pakatan and Umno leaders, I was satisfied as it seemed like they had mobilised their grassroots to vote.”
In GE15, Barisan managed to gain about 38,500 votes in Kemaman compared to the 22,778 it received in the by-election.
However, the support PAS received was also slightly less than its vote tally in GE15, Anwar said.
“When we look at the percentage of votes, there was a decrease of votes for PAS,” he said.
During GE15, Perikatan obtained more than 65,700 votes as compared to the 64,998 in the by-election.
The Kemaman by-election was called after the Terengganu Election Court nullified Perikatan’s victory in GE15 due to elements of corruption during the campaign period.
In GE15, Perikatan’s Che Alias won the seat with a majority of 27,179 votes in a four-way fight. His closest competitor, Barisan’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, obtained 38,535 votes.