KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 19): A Perikatan Nasional (PN) fever has swept through Kedah, which saw incumbent PAS and Bersatu candidates retaining their seats while successfully wresting more from previous PH and BN strongholds.
The PN coalition won 13 out of the 14 Parliamentary seats up for grabs in Kedah, with nine secured through PAS and four secured through Bersatu.
Seats such as Alor Setar, Pokok Sena and Padang Terap — traditional seats of PKR, Amanah and BN — displayed shocking outcomes, with large majorities in favour of PN candidates.
In addition, two-time Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who founded both Bersatu and Pejuang Tanah Air parties, was slayed in Langkawi, where he won a mere 4,566 votes, losing his deposit.
He was beaten by state Bersatu chief Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah, who polled 25,463 votes and secured a majority of 13,518 votes in a five-cornered fight, including against two others who also lost their deposits.
Mahathir’s son Datuk Seri Mukhriz, who was also defeated in Jerlun — a seat he held for two terms — managed to get only a little over 3,000 votes. In fact, neither Pejuang nor the Gabungan Tanah Air coalition that Mahathir leads as Pejuang chief have succeeded in securing any seats at all this election, signalling a complete rejection of the coalition.
Meanwhile, Sungai Petani was retained by PKR by a small majority of 1,115 votes, making it the sole opposition seat in the state. The seat was won by Dr Taufik Johari, who secured 50,580 votes against PN’s Dr Robert Ling who garnered 49,465 votes and BN's Datuk Shahanim Mohamad Yusoff who got 27,391 votes. Pejuang’s Marzuki Yahya and PRM’s Tan Joon Long both lost their deposits.
PAS dug its heels further into Sik, Jerai and Pendang, with observers noting its Bersatu ally also making strong inroads thanks to the popularity of the religious-based party, which currently heads the state government.
Up to 1.6 million voters were registered in Kedah for the 15th General Election, with one third comprising 18 to 30-year-olds.