(OFFICIAL) PAS retains its Sungai Bakap state seat with a larger majority

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SEBERANG PERAI, July 6 — PAS has retained its Sungai Bakap seat with a larger majority compared to the state elections last year.

As at 8.11pm, according to unofficial results, Abidin Ismail from Perikatan Nasional (PN) has obtained 14,554 votes, leading by 4,269 votes against Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Joohari Ariffin who obtained 10,285 votes.

It was estimated that the total voter turnout for the by-election was 63.24 per cent out of a total 39,279 registered voters in the constituency.

In the state elections last year, PN’s Nor Zamri Latiff won the seat with a majority of 1,563 votes against PN’s Nurhidayah Che Rus.

The by-election was triggered after Nor Zamri died due to abdominal inflammation on May 24.

In an immediate response, Penang PH chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the loss with a larger majority on PN’s side reflected the people’s voice on the current political situation in Sungai Bakap, Penang and Malaysia.

“This is an interpretation of the people’s voice on what’s happening recently,” he told reporters at PH’s vote tallying centre at Bukit Jawi Golf Resort here.

He said although there was good cooperation between the component parties under the PH-BN unity pact, the results were indicative of their failure to gain the understanding of voters regarding recent national, state and local issues.

“Maybe our efforts to explain these issues were unable to convince them,” he said.

He said the results went beyond the choice of candidate, so it was not the candidate’s fault.

He said the loss was probably due to national issues such as the diesel subsidy, increasing costs of living and perceived rising inflation.

“We lost the narrative despite all the hard work trying to convince the voters,” he said.

When asked about the voters’ turnout, Chow said the number of ethnic Chinese and Indian voters who came out to vote dropped by about 13 per cent this time compared to the state elections last year.

He said it may have affected the results by about 3,000 votes which led to the larger majority won by PN.

Moving forward, the Penang chief minister said they will need to conduct a post-mortem on the results and scrutinise the reasons for the loss.

“We remain as MP for this parliamentary constituency so we will continue to manage all issues in this constituency,” he said.

“Putting politics aside, the state will look into all issues raised by the voters here during the campaign period,” he said.

He said the state will not sideline people who needed assistance.