Pakatan Harapan (PH) today secured its first electoral victories as it retained two state seats in Selangor using the PH logo.
The voter turnouts were dismal in both Balakong and Seri Setia, 43% and 44% respectively, and lower than the turnout in the Sungai Kandis by-election last month.
In Balakong, DAP’s Wong Siew Ki got 22,508 votes, defeating MCA’s Tan Chee Teong who got 3,975 votes.
It was also the first time MCA contested an election using its ‘star’ symbol instead of BN’s ‘scales’.
MCA veteran and former Seri Kembangan assemblyman Yap Pian Hon said MCA going to the polls with its own logo was a mistake.
“This should be a clear message for MCA that they need to change the current party leaders or risk MCA deteriorating even further.
“If they don’t change now, the people’s confidence can never be regained,” he told news portal FMT.
Speaking to reporters following his defeat, Tan said people were still trying to get used to MCA as part of the federal opposition.
“I can’t force the people to accept MCA (overnight). They still need some time to get used to us being the opposition,” he said.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who was present during the announcement of the Balakong results, said the low turnout was expected.
“We are still fresh from the general election and many had not returned to vote,” he said.
PH’s win in Seri Setia, however, was not as comfortable.
PKR’s Halimey Abu Bakar, got 13,725 votes, defeating PAS’ Dr Halimah Ali who got 9,698, a majority of 4,027 votes.
The Seri Setia by-election is the first time PAS and Umno officially declared their alliance in an election.
The opposition this time also fared better than in Sungai Kandis last month, when PKR got 15,427 votes, defeating BN’s Lokman Noor Adam by more than 5,800 votes.
Speaking to reporters, Halimey said the low turnout could be due to the rainy weather as well as long weekend due to public holidays for the Agong’s Birthday and Awal Muharram.