TANJUNG MALIM, Aug 15 — The by-election for the Slim state seat is to be a three-cornered fight involving two parties and one independent candidate.
The three individuals filed their candidacy at Dewan Sri Tanjung here today when nominations opened at 9am.
They were Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Mohd Zaidi Aziz, 43, newly-formed Parti Pejuang Tanah Air’s (Pejuang) Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, 38, and independent candidate Santharasekaran Subramaniam, 44.
Amir Khusyairi, however, will be contesting on an Independent ticket as the party has yet to be registered officially.
The formation of the party was announced by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on August 7.
Returning officer Shamsul Ridzuan Idris announced the names of the three candidates after the close of nominations at 10am.
The nominations kick off official campaigning for the by-election that will go on until midnight on August 28. Polling will take place the next day.
Early voting has been fixed for August 25 by the Election Commission (EC).
The Slim state has a total of 27,139 residents comprising Malays (74 per cent), Indians (12 per cent), Chinese (10 per cent), and Orang Asli (1.4 per cent).
A total of 23,094 voters — or 22,815 normal voters, 277 early voters as well as two absentee voters (overseas) — are eligible to cast their ballots in the Slim by-election.
The by-election is being held following the death of its four-term assemblyman Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib on July 15.
In the 14th general election, Mohd Khusairi defended the state seat with a majority of 2,183 votes by defeating Mohd Amran Ibrahim from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), who contested under the PKR ticket, and Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal of PAS.
The Slim by-election is the 12th by-election to be held since the last general election three years ago.
The result of the by-election is unlikely to affect the political scene in the state.
This is because the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition has 33 seats out of 59 state seats, comprising 25 held by Umno (BN), five by Bersatu and three by PAS, compared to the 24 seats held by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, composed of DAP (16), Amanah (5) and PKR (3).
The PN coalition is further strengthened by an Independent and a Gerakan assemblyman, who have pledged their support to the Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.