KAJANG, March 23 – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has retained the Kajang state seat with a reduced majority than in the 13th general election (GE-13). PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 62, won with a majority of 5,379 votes after polling 16,741 votes to 11,362 secured by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, 50. In GE-13 held in May last year, Lee won the seat with a majority of 6,824 votes in a six-cornered contest that also involved the BN, Berjasa and three independent candidates.
The result was announced by returning officer Datuk Hassan Nawawi Abdul Rahman at the vote tally centre at the Kajang Municipal Council Sport Complex in Section 15, Bandar Baru Bangi here Sunday night. He said 176 of the 28,314 votes cast were spoilt votes. The votes obtained by Wan Azizah dropped by 2,830 or 14.4 percent from the number of votes garnered by Lee in GE-13, that is 19,571. The voter turnout also dropped by 5,976 or 17.4 per cent from 34,290 in GE-13.
The by-election was necessitated by the sudden resignation of the assemblyman, Lee Chin Cheh of PKR, apparently to pave the way for PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest and reportedly become the next menteri besar of Selangor, replacing Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. However, the conviction and sentencing of Anwar to five years jail by the Court of Appeals, which overturned a High Court decision acquitting him of sodomy, had made the opposition leader ineligible to be a candidate.