PAS gets a stronger grip on Kelantan
KOTA BARU: PAS has strengthened its hold on Kelantan with an almost clean sweep of the state.
Official results showed that the Islamist party clinched 38 of the 45 state seats, which gives it a two-thirds majority victory. PKR won one state seat.
In 2004, PAS won the state by only a two-seat margin with razor-thin victories in a number of seats.
This time around, the majority ranges in the thousands, compared to single and double digit wins in 2004.
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat (Chempaka), vice-president Datuk Husam Musa (Salor) and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (Bunut Payung) all won their state seats.
As for the parliamentary seats, PAS and PKR, which have an electoral pact, swept 12 of the 14 seats: PKR won in Tanah Merah, Ketereh and Machang.
PAS strategist Datuk Abdul Wan Rahim Wan Abdullah beat Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak�s political secretary Datuk Fatmi Salleh to take the Kota Baru parliamentary seat with a thumping majority of 11,288 votes.
Barisan Nasional�s top pick Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin lost the contest for the Bachok parliamentary seat to PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa. Dr Awang also failed to wrest the Perupok state seat from incumbent Datuk Omar Mohammed.
Another top leader who took a beating was state Barisan chairman Datuk Annuar Musa, who was denied the Ketereh parliamentary seat by newbie Ab Aziz Ab Kadir from PKR.
PKR strategist Saifuddin Nasution Ismail beat incumbent Datuk Sazmi Miah by 1,460 votes to gain the Machang parliamentary seat.
Former Umno leader Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who was sacked from the party, will be back in Parliament. He contested in Pasir Mas under a PAS ticket and defeated his Umno opponent Ahmad Rosdi Mahmud by 8,991 votes.
PAS also made significant inroads into Barisan strongholds. In Gua Musang, PAS took the Galas state seat and in Kuala Krai, it claimed the Guchil, Mengkebang, Dabong and Manek Urai state seats.
Umno�sand Datuk Mustapa Mohamed retained their Gua Musang and Jeli parliamentary seats respectively.
Mustapa secured a majority of 4,436 votes, while Tengku Razaleigh won by 4,394 votes.
Dr Awang Adek, who was the Barisan�s choice to lead the state should the coalition wrest the state from PAS, said he would take a rest from politics.
�We have been badly defeated in Kelantan. We have to respect the decision of the people,� he said.
�The results are shocking because of the extent of our defeat.�
Jeli MP Mustapa said: �The decision of the people in Kelantan was unexpected based on the feedback that we received. We were told that we were gaining ground and now we are back to square one.�
State Umno Information head Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad, who won the Kok Lanas state seat, said all in Umno including himself must take full responsibility for the heavy defeat in Kelantan. Md Alwi, however, expected the coalition to bounce back.
PAS secured its first state seat (Kijang) unopposed on nomination day when the Barisan candidate was disqualified because he was a bankrupt.
The six state seats won by Barisan are Pengkalan Kubor (majority of 100 votes), Bukit Bunga (348 votes), Kok Lanas (580), Kuala Balah (1,381), Nenggiri (2,090) and Paloh (2,833).
Voter turnout in Kelantan was one of the highest in the country at 80.84% for state and 82.57% for parliament.
Nik Aziz likens big win to a tsunami
KOTA BARU: �It was a tsunami!� exclaimed PAS leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat when describing the big win by opposition parties in the general election.
The PAS spiritual adviser believed Malaysians were tired of being denied their right to freely express themselves and this had caused their disillusionment with the ruling Government.
�People are tired of being threatened and pressured by laws like the ISA (Internal Security Act),� he said at a late night press conference after the unofficial results were known.
Asked about the other factors leading to the big win, Nik Aziz said: �PAS had always championed the truth while Umno was melampau (overbearing) .�
He declined to comment when asked to name his pick for the Kedah Mentri Besar�s post.
Midway through the press conference, Nik Aziz appeared shocked when party members informed him that the Opposition had wrested Selangor too.
He thanked Allah for the victory and said they would guard the victory well.
�I want to thank everybody, all the races that worked together with PAS to bring in this victory. I appreciate your support.
�We will approach this victory from an Islamic point of view
and this means everyone is
�All are brothers and sisters.
There should be no more divi-
ding people along racial lines,� he said.
In a related development, PKR strategic adviser Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who won the Machang parliamentary seat, lambasted the Election Commission for its delay in releasing the official results in Kelantan.
�I am standing here and can clearly see the results displayed on the giant electronic billboard, yet the returning officer refused to announce it. Why are they waiting, I wonder.�
He said the EC needed to be reformed, as in the digital age it was still struggling to announce the results of the polls, especially when it involved just 10 million registered voters.
Saifuddin said the big win by the Opposition was a reflection of how many Malaysians felt after four years under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi�s tenure.
He promised to serve his constituents well in the Machang parliamentary seat.
Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."