THE STAR: PENGKALAN CHEPA: PAS candidate Ahmad Fathan Mahmood secured a landslide win in the Chempaka by-election with a majority of 10,092.
The Ulama Affairs chief in the Chempaka state constituency obtained 10,899 votes, garnering 86.9% of the overall votes cast.
All the Independent rivals lost their deposits. Sharif Mahmood received 807 votes, Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhari (51), Fadzilah Hussin (89) and Aslah Mamat (27)
Only 55% of the 20,399 voters in the constituency cast their ballots.
Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the turnout was lower than the 70% which they had predicted.
“It is not unusual for the voter turnout to be low in places where Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition, does not contest,” he said.
“During the last general election, the voter turnout was 85.9%. We will investigate the exact reason for the low turnout,” he told reporters.
Abdul Aziz said the by-election was one of the most peaceful ones held “as there was no chaos or fights.”
“There were also no people obstructing the entrances to the polling centres,” he said.
Polling opened between 8am and 5pm yesterday at nine schools used as polling centres.
The by-election was held following the death of PAS spiritual leader and former Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, 84 on Feb 12. He held the seat for the past seven terms, In the 2013 elections,
Nik Abdul Aziz won the seat with a 6,500-vote majority, obtaining 12,310 votes.
Barisan opted out of the by-election to focus instead on the massive rehabilitation work after Kelantan was hit by extraordinary floods in December last year.