GE15 A FIERCE CONTEST
GE15 has been one of the fiercest fought elections in the country’s history, with a record number of more than 900 candidates vying for a place in the parliament. Voting for two seats – Padang Serai in Kedah and Baram in Sarawak – was postponed.
As the early results started to be announced at around 10pm, GPS won the first handful of seats in Sarawak. As expected, it was an early indication that the potential kingmakers of Borneo would have an important say on the formation of the next government.
With the results of around half of the parliamentary seats being finalised, a picture began to emerge: PH and PN were running neck and neck with around 30 seats won each, while BN was lagging behind at less than 20 seats at just after the 12am mark.
For PN, Mr Muhyiddin successfully defended his seat in Pagoh, Johor.
Caretaker senior minister Azmin Ali of PN, who was one of the lawmakers who defected from Parti Keadlian Rakyat in 2020 sparking a chain of events that led to the fall of the PH administration, failed to defend his seat in Gombak. He lost to Selangor chief minister Amirudin Shari.
Meanwhile, Mr Anwar captured the Tambun seat in Perak. He switched base from Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan to contest there, a move regarded by those in his camp as a strategic move that could help PH to return to power in Putrajaya.
PH’s Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of Mr Anwar, lost the Permatang Pauh seat in Penang to PN’s Muhammad Fawwaz Mat Jan.
The seat has been described as a “family seat” that represents Mr Anwar’s legacy. The seat had been held by their family since 1982 – first by Mr Anwar, and then by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, followed by Ms Nurul Izzah.
Several BN stalwarts, including caretaker finance minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz (Kuala Selangor), caretaker health minister Khairy Jamaluddin (Sungai Buloh), Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Gua Musang) and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (Putrajaya) lost in their contests.
BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi managed to defend his Bagan Datuk seat in Perak with a slim majority while caretaker prime minister Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob also managed to retain his seat in Bera, Pahang.
With around three-quarters of all seat results announced, BN, which was by then in firm third place behind PH and PN, issued a statement saying that it “accepts and respects” the people’s decision.
The outcome of GE15 is a “big signal” from the people to the coalition, said Ahmad Zahid.
The coalition remains committed to contributing to the formation of a stable government, he added.
Gerakan Tanah Air, led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, failed to win a single seat.
Dr Mahathir himself failed to defend his seat in Langkawi, Kedah. He was defeated by PN’s Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah who clinched 13,518 out of 25,463 votes.
The Election Commission showed that the 97-year-old only secured 4,566 votes and has thus lost his election deposit.