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Zahid laughs off Perikatan bid to bill Kemaman poll as ‘referendum’ on unity govt

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Opposition parties should “stop daydreaming” about their Kemaman by-election victory last week being a national referendum on the national unity government.

Zahid, who is also a deputy prime minister, questioned how Perikatan Nasional concluded that the views of one parliamentary constituency could represent all 220 in the country.

“We cannot consider this (by-election result) as a referendum. How can the decision of 141,000 voters in Kemaman be considered a referendum?

“I hope they (PN) will stop daydreaming,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.

Zahid instead pointed out that PAS did not gain the Kemaman seat and only retained it, which meant there was “no increase of support”.

The Barisan Nasional chairman also claimed that his coalition’s candidate, Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, lost due to 10,000 traditional voters not going out to cast their ballots.

On Saturday, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar won the Kemaman by-election by over 37,000 votes.

Yesterday, PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan sought to portray the margin of victory as a referendum of of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership of the country.

The Kota Baru MP further claimed the victory as an endorsement of Ahmad Samsuri, and a signal of growing public support for PN.