PONTIAN: Barisan Nasional (BN) wrested back the Tanjung Piai from Pakatan Harapan (PH), 18 months after the coalition lost the parliamentary seat to the pact in last year’s 14th General Election (GE14).
BN won the seat by a huge 15,086 majority today, after returning officer Zulkifly Mohd Tahir declared the candidate from the coalition as the winner.
“BN candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng received 25,466 votes and is declared the winner for this by-election,” he said at the Dewan Jubli Intan at 9.18pm.
In GE14, PH candidate Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik garnered 21,255 votes to win the Johor parliamentary seat with a slim majority of 524, beating Wee, a former deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Wee was also two-term Tanjung Piai Member of Parliament since 2008 but lost to Dr Farid in the May 9 general election last year.
The victory was also fourth for BN after winning the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat and the state assembly seats of Semenyih as well as Rantau in by-elections this year.
The Tanjung Piai by-election is the ninth to be held after GE14.
PH candidate Karmaine Sardini received 10,380 votes, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam garnered 1,707 votes and Berjasa candidate Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz polled 850 votes.
The two Independent candidates, Faridah Aryani Abd Ghani and Dr Ang Chuan Lock, only garnered 380 and 32 votes respectively.
Four candidates, aside from Wee and Karmaine, lost their respective election deposits.
Election candidates who do not secure at least one-eighth of the votes cast, will have their RM10,000 deposit for a parliamentary seat forfeited.
According to Zulkifly, the by-election recorded a 74.43 per cent voter turnout out of the 52,698 eligible voters. Early voting on Nov 12 saw a 91 per cent voter turnout out of 280 electors.
In GE14, voter turnout for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat stood at 85.67 per cent out of then 53,528 registered electors.
The tallying centre was a hive of activity as ballot boxes began arriving after polls closed at 5.30pm and the vote tallying process began.
The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant after Dr Farid, who was also deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, died on Sept 21 due to heart complications.