JEJU ISLAND (South Korea), 1 June 2009: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s victory in the Penanti by-election yesterday is not a yardstick to gauge the popularity of any political party.
The prime minister said PKR’s victory was also not an impressive win because voter turnout dropped to less than 50%, and the total votes obtained by PKR’s Dr Mansor Othman fell by about 1,300 votes compared to the votes garnered by the PKR candidate in the 2008 general election.
He said PKR’s victory over the independent candidates was not an absolute victory or achievement that they could be proud of.
Najib said this at a press conference with Malaysian journalists after delivering a keynote address at the closing session of the Asean-Korea CEO Summit held in conjunction with the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit at the Jeju International Convention Centre (ICC) today.
In the Penanti by-election, Penang PKR deputy chairperson Mansor, 59, won with a majority of 5,558 votes.
Mansor, who obtained 6,052 votes beat three independent candidates – Nai Khan Ari Nai Keow, 41, (494 votes); Aminah Abdullah, 56, (392 votes); and Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, (56 votes).
The by-election was held following the resignation of the incumbent assemblyperson, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, on 16 April.
Barisan Nasional (BN) did not field its candidate in the by-election because the BN supreme council decided that the vacancy had nothing to do with the constitutional provision for a by-election, and was merely a Pakatan Rakyat game.
Najib arrived here on Sunday to attend the two-day summit which ends tomorrow. — Bernama