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Major casualties for PKR, Umno as Malay vote swings to PN

Nurul Izzah Anwar lost the election contest as did big names from Umno including Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Staff Writers
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Party flags hang over a road in the Kampung Manjoi enclave in Tambun, Perak.
Party flags hang over a road in the Kampung Manjoi enclave in Tambun, Perak.

Anwar Ibrahim's daughter Nurul Izzah was among the casualties of a major swing in Malay votes towards Perikatan Nasional (PN) at the 15th general election (GE15) yesterday. 

Nurul Izzah lost to PN's Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan from PAS by a majority of 5,272 votes, returning the seat to the Islamist party four decades after it was first won by Anwar.

The defeat was seen as a personal blow to Anwar as Permatang Pauh had long been considered a symbol of his political career, ever since he won it for the first time in 1982.

Only members of his family had contested the seat, including during his absence from the political scene when he was jailed for sodomy, and when he moved to Port Dickson after his release in 2018. 

Anwar himself won narrowly in Tambun this election, with a majority of 3,700 votes.

Barisan Nasional (BN) likewise lost seats that for decades had seen the same Umno leaders as their MPs. 

Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's reign in the administrative capital of Putrajaya came to an end with the victory of PN's Radzi Jidin, while the country's longest serving MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was finally booted out of Gua Musang in Kelantan.

Radzi won 16,002 votes against Ku Nan's 13,692, and Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Noraishah Mydin Abdul Aziz who got 5,988 votes.

In Gua Musang, Razaleigh lost by a razor-thin margin of 163 votes to PAS' Mohd Aziz Abu Naim.

Meanwhile, PN bagged another federal territory through its candidate Suhaili Abd Rahman who defeated BN and Warisan candidates in Labuan – another seat which had only seen a BN candidate.

Elsewhere, it made surprise gains in seats considered as Malay heartlands.

Among the casualties was none other than Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who just four years ago was credited with bringing down six decades of BN rule.

The country's oldest candidate and two-time prime minister came second-last in a five-cornered contest, winning only 4,566 votes, while PN's Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah got 25,463.

PN also took Tanjung Karang, Kepala Batas, Padang Rengas and Pasir Salak, long considered as Umno bastions and which had remained with BN even when it lost federal power in 2018. 

Among other Malay semi-rural seats, the coalition bagged Gerik, Padang Besar, as well as Kulim Bandar Baharu where Roslan Hashim defeated PKR strongman Saifuddin Nasution by more than 13,000 votes.

In Hulu Selangor, which has changed hands between BN and PH over the last three general elections, PN candidate Hasnizan Harun obtained 46,823 votes, defeating PH's Sathia Prakash Nadarajan who won 45,261 500, and BN's Mohan Thangarasu from MIC who got 27,050 votes. PN also won in Kapar, a three-term PKR constituency in Selangor, defeating its incumbent Abdullah Sani.

The victories are seen as significant, especially in anticipation of a split in Malay votes seen as benefitting PH.

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