2018 Port Dickson by-election

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Port Dickson by-election, 2018

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P132 Port Dickson seat in the Dewan Rakyat
  First party Second party Third party
  Anwar Ibrahim, May 2013.jpg
Candidate Anwar Ibrahim Mohd Nazari Mokhtar Mohd Isa Abdul Samad
Party PKR PAS Independent
Alliance PH GS
Popular vote 31,016 7,456 4,230
Percentage 71.32% 17.14% 9.73%

P132 Port Dickson.svg
Port Dickson federal constituency border and its corresponding state assembly seats.

MP before election

Danyal Balagopal Abdullah (resigned)
Pakatan Harapan (PKR)

Elected MP

Anwar Ibrahim
Pakatan Harapan (PKR)

A by-election was held on 13 October 2018 for the Dewan Rakyat seat of Port Dickson.[1] The seat became vacant after the resignation of the incumbent member Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, a member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the governing Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.[2] This was the first federal by-election since the historic May 2018 general election, which saw the first-ever change of federal government in Malaysia's history.

Danyal Balagopal resigned his seat to pave a way for PKR and PH leader Anwar Ibrahim to return to Parliament. Anwar was unable to contest the May 2018 election due to his imprisonment on sodomy charges, which were widely accepted as politically motivated. He received a royal pardon after PH defeated the then-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and came into power, restoring his political rights and his right to contest in elections.[1]

The Port Dickson parliamentary constituency had 75,770 registered voters in this by-election. 43% were Malays, 33% Chinese, 22% Indian and 2% other races.

Anwar won the by-election with an increased majority, returning to Parliament for the first time in three years.

Nomination[edit]

The nomination day for the by-election was 29 September 2018.

While PH confirmed early that it would field Anwar in the by-election, the oppositions did not announce its candidate until close to the nomination day. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) was initially expected not to contest the by-election and lend its support to the BN, like they did in the Sungai Kandis and Balakong by-elections.[3]

Criticisms were landed at PH for engineering the by-election too soon after the general election. BN politicians lambasted PH's move as an attempt to "coronate" Anwar.[4] This was repudiated by prominent PH leaders such as Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. Lim said Anwar's return to Parliament was overdue and criticised BN's role in jailing Anwar when they were in government, thus preventing him to contest in the first place.[5]

A candidate from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) was initially expected to contest for BN. Another BN component party, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), announced that it would not contest the by-election for the coalition. The MIC said that their decision was a protest against UMNO's exclusion of their party from the candidacy consultations. They have previously contested the seat and its predecessor seat Telok Kemang for BN as recently as the 2018 federal elections.[6] Another BN component party, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), also criticised UMNO's sidelining of other BN component parties and its cooperation with PAS.[7]

UMNO itself was divided on what approach it will be taking in the by-election. While most leaders were saying that the party would contest the seat, some prominent leaders were suggesting that the party should not contest and let Anwar win in a walkover.[8] Several UMNO politicians were even planning to support Anwar, therefore bucking their party's official stance. The most notable politician in the last category was former Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz.[9] BN ended up deciding not to contest, as a boycott and protest against the government's forcing of the by-election.[10]

To prevent the absence of opposition candidates, PAS moved to field their own candidate, a retired Lt Col ranked air force officer, Mohd Nazari Mokhtar.[11] Close to the nomination day, the field became more crowded with the surprise entry of two independent candidates, namely Mohd Isa Abdul Samad the former Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan and Saiful Bukhari Azlan the former personal aide of Anwar who was also the accuser in his second sodomy trial.[12][13]

The other independent candidates contested were social media activist Stevie Chan Keng Leong, former lecturer Lau Seck Yan and management consultant Kan Chee Yuen.[14]

An eight and last independent candidate A Rajendra who had filed his nomination papers, was disqualified because his proposer was not a registered voter in the constituency.[15]

Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) originally stated that they would contest this by-election, but ended up not fielding a candidate.[12][16] PRM eventually sacked its designated candidate, Ahmad Kamarudin, an ex-PKR member for withdrawing from the by-election claiming insufficient funds for the electoral deposit only at the eleventh hour.[17]

Controversies[edit]

A voter in Port Dickson, Rosmadi Mohd Kassim filed a judicial review at the High Court on 27 September 2018, seeking the court to declare that the resignation of incumbent MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah unconstitutional, thus rendering the move by Election Commission (EC) to hold the by-election as null and void.[18] The High Court dismissed the application on 2 October 2018.[19]

Another Port Dickson voter, Noraziah Mohd Shariff filed on 28 September 2018 for a court declaration to invalidate the royal pardon received by Anwar on the grounds that it was a "full pardon" and not a "free pardon" under the Federal Constitution, which allows a former convict to contest.[20] PAS hoped that the court would disqualify Anwar after he won and if their candidate finished second, he would instead be declared as the new constituency MP.[21] EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun affirmed the agency's stand that Anwar was free and eligible to contest and proceed in the by-election.[22] The High Court dismissed the application finally when the applicant and her counsel failed to show up in court on 22 November 2018.[23]

Campaigning[edit]

On 8 October 2018 Mahathir Mohamad broke a prime ministerial tradition by coming to Port Dickson to campaign in the by-election. He also spoke on the same stage with Anwar for the first time in twenty years.[24]

Some UMNO members defied their party's official boycott and supported Mohd Isa including his own son.[25] The Indian-based political party Indian Progressive Front (IPF) expressed support for PAS in the by-election.[26] The Negeri Sembilan Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (GERAKAN) announced their support for Anwar.[27]

Result[edit]

Anwar won the Port Dickson by-election with 31,016 votes securing a 23,560-vote majority, with runner-up Mohd Nazari garnering 7,456 votes.[28]

Malaysian general by-election, 2018: Port Dickson
Upon the resignation of incumbent, Danyal Balagopal Abdullah
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
PH Anwar Ibrahim 31,016 71.32 Increase12.26
PAS Mohd Nazari Mokhtar 7,456 17.14 Increase6.39
Independent Mohd Isa Abdul Samad 4,230 9.73 N/A
Independent Stevie Chan Keng Leong 337 0.77 N/A
Independent Lau Seck Yan 214 0.49 N/A
Independent Kan Chee Yuen 154 0.35 N/A
Independent Saiful Bukhari Azlan 82 0.19 N/A
Total valid votes 43,489 100.00
Total rejected ballots 598
Unreturned ballots 49
Turnout 44,136 58.25 Decrease24.91
Registered electors 75,770
Majority 23,560 54.17 Increase25.30
PH hold Swing Increase2.94
Source(s)
"Port Dickson By-election Live Results".

Previous result[edit]

Malaysian general election, 2018: Port Dickson
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
PH Danyal Balagopal Abdullah 36,225 59.06 N/A
BN Mohan a/l Velayatham 18,515 30.19 N/A
PAS Mahfuz bin Roslan 6,594 10.75 N/A
Total valid votes 61,334 100.00
Total rejected ballots 948
Unreturned ballots 266
Turnout 62,548 83.16 N/A
Registered electors 75,212
Majority 17,710 28.87 N/A
PH gain Swing N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kamarulzaman, Zikri (12 September 2018). "PKR executes 'PD Move' to pave way for Anwar's return". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  2. ^ Bernama (12 September 2018). "Speaker confirms Port Dickson MP's resignation". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  3. ^ Mohd, Hariz (13 September 2018). "Port Dickson polls: PAS to 'make way' for Umno". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Khairy: Coronations are for kings and Anwar isn't one". Malaysiakini. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  5. ^ Lim, Guan Eng (17 September 2018). "'Anwar's return to Parliament is overdue'". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  6. ^ Kumar, B Nantha (13 September 2018). "MIC to sit out Port Dickson polls this time around". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  7. ^ "'BN can kiss seats goodbye' - Wee says of Umno-PAS hook-up". Malaysiakini. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Umno Youth leaders: Give Anwar a walkover, enjoy the fireworks later". Malaysiakini. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  9. ^ Kamarulzaman, Zikri (12 September 2018). "Nazri says will campaign for Anwar in PD by-election". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  10. ^ Alhadjri, Alyaa (24 September 2018). "BN boycotts 'forced, wasteful' PD by-election". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  11. ^ H. Rodzi, Nadirah (27 September 2018). "PAS picks former air force officer in Port Dickson by-election against Anwar Ibrahim". Straits Times. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  12. ^ a b Lim, Ida; Palanisamy, Yiswaree (4 October 2018). "PRM to contest in Port Dickson by-election". Malay Mail. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Anwar's ex-aide Saiful to join the fray". Malaysiakini. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Voters want Port Dickson to be developed like Langkawi". Bernama. The Sun Daily. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  15. ^ "PD by-election: One disqualified, seven to fight for seat". The Edge Markets. 29 September 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  16. ^ Nambiar, Predeep (21 September 2018). "PRM to contest in Port Dickson by-election". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  17. ^ Sharina Ahmad (1 October 2018). "PRM urged to sack would-be PD candidate for dropping out of race". Malay Mail. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  18. ^ Vathani Panirchellvum (27 September 2018). "Man files judicial review to stop PD by-election". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  19. ^ Rahmat Khairulrijal (2 October 2018). "Port Dickson by-election: Court dismisses application to declare resignation of MP null and void". The New Straits Times. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  20. ^ "PD voter seeks to disqualify Anwar from by-election". Malaysiakini. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  21. ^ Tarrence Tan (7 October 2018). "PAS hopes to win Port Dickson seat via back door if Anwar is disqualified". The Star. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  22. ^ Amar Shah Mohsen (9 October 2018). "Anwar is free and eligible to contest in PD: EC chairman". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  23. ^ "Court dismisses PD voter's suit against Anwar Ibrahim". Bernama. The Edge Markets. 23 November 2018. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Port Dickson by-election: Dr M's presence will boost Anwar's support, says Wan Azizah". Bernama. The Star. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  25. ^ Syed Umar Ariff; Ifwan Tun Tuah (30 September 2018). "Son campaigns for Isa Samad in Port Dickson". The New Straits Times. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  26. ^ B Nantha Kumar (10 October 2018). "Indian-based party pledges support for PAS candidate". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Gerakan Negeri Sembilan isytihar sokong Anwar di PD" (in Malay). Malaysiakini. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  28. ^ "Official: Anwar wins PD by-election with bigger majority than GE14". Malaysiakini. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.