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Barisan Nasional Won Hulu Selangor By-Election

Barisan Nasional’s (BN) P.Kamalanathan has won a hard-fought Hulu Selangor by-election in what will be seen as a boost for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration, but Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is expected to take heart from the close margin.

BN won today’s poll by just 1725 votes, recouping spoilt votes which contributed to its defeat in Election 2008, but failing to convincingly bury a strong PR.

Earlier today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had set a target of winning by up to 6,000 votes as observers had noted that BN needed to win big after pulling out all the stops during the campaign to justify Najib’s personal involvement and its pork-barrelled spending.

The ruling coalition had thrown everything and the kitchen sink at the campaign in an attempt to put it on track to recovery after a string of by-election defeats since Election 2008.

BN had lost in all by-elections in the peninsular since 2008, except for its stronghold of Bagan Pinang in Negri Sembilan, which it retained in a by-election last October.

In today’s vote, Kamalanathan obtained 24,997 votes while Zaid received 23,272.

The results suggest BN and PR are still neck and neck in the battle for support from Malaysians, particularly in the peninsular.

“P. Kamalanathan’s win brings great meaning to BN because based on the 2008 results and this time there is a shift of support to BN by almost 2000 votes.

“This shift has great meaning because we were contesting in a state controlled by the opposition but we were able to recapture the constituency,” Najib told reporters after the announcement.

He added that the victory puts BN and the country on the right track.

“It’s a good beginning for BN. Good beginning for the new direction and agenda we have set for this nation and this means we are on the right track, the right trajectory,” said Najib.

“We’ll continue with what people want to see and more results. They’re happy with the announcements, with the thinking and policy direction but now we must make sure we provide the results,” he added.

On the margin of victory which is much lower than his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s prediction of 6,000 votes, Najib said the reduced majority was because the state government is not controlled by BN.

“We realise this is an opposition state. In the past we controlled the state, we had the strengths of federal and state governments, so in this context I’m satisfied with the results,” said Najib.

When asked about the defeat in Chinese areas, he claimed that there was improvement compared to Election 2008.

“I don’t want to make quick conclusions even though we lost most ballot boxes in Chinese areas. We lost but based on the start of the campaign I believe there is an increase,” said Najib.

Meanwhile Kamalanathan who was made BN candidate after a week of dramatic and intense negotiations between MIC and Umno leaders was quick not to claim the victory as his.

“This victory is not mine, this victory belongs to the Barisan Nasional machinery, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and all friends of Barisan Nasional,” said Kamalanathan.

The MIC information chief also said that he would meet with the Hulu Selangor voters soon to address all the promises the party had made during the campaign period.

“I have said before that I will move to Hulu Selangor so I will look into it as soon as I can,” he told a press conference after his victory announcement.

Source : TheMalaysianInsider

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