Sunday, March 9, 2008

The opposition looks set to form the next State Government in Perak after unofficial reports showed they won 30 state seats to the BN’s 29 to grab the simple majority in was the closest fight among the states.
While Umno suffered major setbacks in the party's traditional strongholds , the majority of MCA, MIC, PPP and Gerakan candidates were also wiped out by DAP candidates, a repeat of the 2004 nightmare for MCA as the party failed to wrest the Ipoh Barat parliamentary seat and lost several state seats to the opposition.

The party fared badly last time around when the Ipoh Barat, Ipoh Timor and, Batu Gajah parliamentary seats, and the Pasir Pinji, Jelapang, Menglembu, Pantai Remis, Keranji and Sitiawan state seats went to the DAP. MCA candidates were hard hit in urban Chinese-dominated seats and lost the Kepayang, Bercham, Buntong, Tebing Tinggi and Pasir Pinji state seats to the DAP.

The party was said to have also lost the Pokok Assam state seat. It won four parliamentary and 10 state seats in the 2004 elections. For Gerakan, its biggest single casualty was when state chairman Datuk Chang Ko Youn was defeated by DAP candidate Ngeh Koo Ham in Beruas with a majority of about 1, 500 votes.

The party's Youth chief Datuk Mah Siew Keong was also reported to have been defeated for the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat by another DAP candidate M. Manogaran. As expected, MIC candidate for Pasir Panjang Datuk Dr S. Vasan lost to Pas candidate Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin. It looks like the DAP has managed to strengthen its position in Perak from the previous three parliamentary and seven state seats to a minimum of six and 12 respectively.
As for Umno, the initial feeling on the ground is that the majority of its candidates will make it despite with a much-reduced vote majority this time around. Unconfirmed reports, however, have listed out several unexpected casualties, including the Lubuk Merbau state seat but nobody from the party has come forth with an official statement.

Back in 2004, Umno won in all 34 state seats it contested in while the coalition won 52 of the 59 state seats and 21 of the 24 parliamentary seats. Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali has yet to address or make an official announcement to the large crowd gathered at his official residence.

BN was also shocked with losses of several bigwigs - MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in Sungai Siput and PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas in Taiping. Samy Vellu was reported to have lost to Dr D. Jeyakumar by a majority of 1,821 votes while Kayveas was defeated by DAP's Nga Kor Ming with a majority of 11,298 votes.


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