KOTA BAHARU, Feb 18 – The by-election for the Chempaka state seat scheduled for March 22 will become the eighth by-election after the 13th general election held on May 5, 2013. The by-election is being held following the death of the incumbent, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who was also the former menteri besar of Kelantan, on Feb 5 due to prostate cancer.
Chempaka is one of the three state constituencies in the Pengkalan Chepa parliamentary constituency. The other two are Pancor and Kijang. Pengkalan Chepa is the main industrial area in Kelantan and the location for the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. The parliamentary constituency is also a historical site in the state, as its beach, Pantai Pak Amat, was where the Japanese army first landed in their invasion of Malaya in 1943.
The Election Commission (EC) today set March 10 for nomination and March 22 for polling day in the by-election for Chempaka. In the 13th general election (GE13), Nik Abdul Aziz (PAS) defeated the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, Wan Razman Wan Abd Razak, with a majority of 6,500 votes.
Nik Abdul Aziz obtained 12,310 votes while Wan Razman had 5,810. The Chempaka state constituency has been PAS stronghold ever since it was represented by the late PAS spiritual leader the 9th general election in 1995. The residents of Chempaka comprise mostly wage earners, traders and farmers.
The state constituency, measuring approximately 29.75 sq km, has several polling districts, including in Tanjung Baru, Che Deris, Kampung Pulau Panjang, Teluk Kitang, Tebing Tinggi, Sabak, Pulau Gajah, Baung and Pengkalan Nangka. As at Feb 12, Chempaka has 21,890 registered voters, of whom 20,390 are normal voters, 1,497 are early voters and three others are absent voters.