Sunday, March 9, 2008

10 FT seats fall to opposition

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional secured only three out of the 13 parliamentary seats in Federal Territories; Putrajaya, Labuan and Setiawangsa.
The biggest upset was the defeat of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil in Lembah Pantai to newcomer, PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Nurul Izzah polled 21,728 votes and Shahrizat polled 18,833 votes.

Shahrizat was composed even though the official results were not announced. She said: "I am not disappointed. I am happy because the past 12 years I was here, a lot of changes were made and Lembah Pantai is no longer a sleepy hollow."

Federal Territory Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique beat PKR's Ibrahim Yaacob, the son of KL's first mayor, by a 8,134 vote majority in Setiawangsa. Zulhasnan who has been pushing for better housing for the poor and lower income group said he was surprised with the outcome and will do a post-mortem on the results.
Labuan's new candidate Datuk Yusoff Mahal beat Pas' Matsusin Abdul Rahman and independent candidate Lau Seng Kiat with 8,457 votes while Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor garnered a 2,734-vote majority over Pas' Mohammad Nor Mohammad in Putrajaya. The government administrative centre has 5,079 registered voters.

Pas captured the BN's stronghold of Titiwangsa. Dr Lo' Lo' Ghazali won the seat against BN's Datuk Aziz Jamaluddin Md Tahir with a 1,972 vote majority.

PKR secured four seats in the Federal Territories; Bandar Tun Razak, Batu, Wangsa Maju and Lembah Pantai.

It was a surprising moment for veteran politician Datuk Tan Chai Ho when the results were announced in Bandar Tun Razak.

Tan lost to PKR's Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim by a majority of 2,515. Reports on the ground said the Malay and Chinese voters swayed towards the opposition at the last minute. The constituency has Malays (52.7 per cent), Chinese (39.5 per cent), Indians (7.2 per cent) and others (0.1 per cent).

Batu's Lim Si Pin, the son of veteran politician Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik, was in disbelief when the results were announced.

He lost to PKR's Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, with a 9,455-vote majority. Tian Chua was surprised by his victory.

Another surprise was in Wangsa Maju where Wee Choo Keong, contesting under a PKR ticket, defeated Gerakan's Datuk Yew Teong Look.

DAP retained Seputeh, Kepong, Cheras and Bukit Bintang and added Segambut to its list. Segambut had been a Gerakan stronghold over the past three elections. However, Gerakan's Mah Woei Chye lost to Lim Lip Eng from DAP.

DAP's "Iron Lady", Teresa Kok, retained Seputeh parliamentary seat with the highest majority of 36,492 against BN's Carol Chew Chee Lin. She said it was not a personal victory but a victory by her team who helped serve the constituents for the past five years.

Kok believed Seputeh residents voted her in because they thought it was important to have a strong opposition as a check and balance.

In Kepong, DAP's Dr Tan Seng Giaw, who won with a majority of 23,848 for the sixth term over Gerakan's new comer Lau Hoi Keong pledged: "I will do more for the people, especially with regard to local issues because they involve public funds."

DAP also managed to retain Bukit Bintang, defeating a well known politician Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng despite the 5,000 postal votes.

Even though Dr Lee was confident over his victory, but national sentiments such as fuel hike and other universal issues won sentiments of voters and he lost with 14,277 majority.

In Cheras, DAP's Tan Kok Wai won the seat for the fifth term from MCA's Jeffrey Goh Sim Ik who was earlier said to be making inroads with his grassroots support in the constituency. He won by 28,300 votes.

BN had won nine seats in the last elections. BN and the opposition are still in shock over the unexpected results.


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