Sg Limau by-election: It’s PAS with reduced majority 

(The Malay Mail) – PAS managed to keep its hold on the farming constituency of Sungai Limau in Kedah state, but saw its vote majority slashed to a mere 1,084 votes in today’s by-election.

The Islamist party’s candidate, 37-year-old Mohd Azam Abdul Samat scored 12,069 votes, besting the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who drew 10,985 votes.

The seat fell vacant following the death of its five-term assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak of PAS. 

Azizan was also Kedah menteri besar for a term after the 13-party BN coalition lost its grip on the northern state in the 2008 general election.

The PAS win, however, does not change the power composition in Kedah, which has returned to BN rule after falling to the three-party Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact for one term in 2008.

During the May 5 polls this year, a total 24,349 voters turned out and PAS had won with a comfortable 2,774-vote majority.

Many voters, of which 93 per cent are Malays, are still strong PAS supporters with a great respect for the late Azizan but PAS has voiced concern over the enormous amount of allocations being promised and the gifts being handed out in the last few days.

Though Dr Ahmad Sohaimi is a local, many villagers do not know him but Azam, as a protégé of Azizan, is rather well known so PAS may still lead in the polls today due to villagers’ familiarity with Azam. 

PAS has also been agressively going from house-to-house, using the direct approach rather than just depending on various programmes and ceramahs, and this may work in their favour too as the rural folks preferred a representative who will go down on the ground to talk to them, listen to their issues and resolve their problems for them.

The Sungai Limau state constituency has 27,222 voters, 25,323 or 93.02 per cent of them Malays, 1,842 or 6.76 per cent Chinese, 15 or 0.055 per cent Indians and 42 or 0.15 per cent other races.