KUALA LUMPUR, Monday 7 March 2011 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional today retained the Kerdau and Merlimau state seats with bigger majorities, continuing its winning streak in five by-elections to date.
The ruling coalition had won the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat and the Galas and Tenang state seats before this.
With today's victories, the BN has won eight of the 16 by-elections held since the general election in 2008. Its three other victories were in Bagan Pinang, Batang Ai and Hulu Selangor.
The winning streak lends credence to the conviction that the BN is regaining support among the people following the political tsunami of 2008 which cost it four states and a two-third majority in parliament.
Today, the BN retained the Kerdau seat in Pahang with a majority of 2,724 votes when its candidate, Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad, 44, polled 5,060 votes to the 2,336 garnered by Hassanuddin Salim, 43, of PAS in the straight fight.
The 2,724-vote majority garnered by Syed Ibrahim was higher than the 1,615 recorded in the 2008 general election.
In the by-election today, Kerdau also recorded a turnout of 83% of the 8,999 voters, surpassing the turnout in the general election in 2008 (80.3%) and in 2004 (79.7%).
In Merlimau, Melaka, Roslan Ahmad, 44, of the BN secured 5,962 votes to beat Yuhaizad Abdullah, 38, of PAS by a majority of 3,643 votes. Yuhaizad managed 2,319 votes.
The majority secured by Roslan was higher than the 2,154 registered for the constituency in the general election in 2008.
The voter turnout in Merlimau was 78.76% of the 10,679 electors, up from the 76.18% of the general election in 2008.
The by-election in Kerdau was necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, Datuk Zaharuddin Abu Kasim of the BN, on Feb 12.
The Merlimau seat fell vacant following the death of BN assembly Datuk Mohamad Hidhir Abu Hassan on Jan 20.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, commenting on the by-election results in Jasin, Melaka, said the BN victories were an endorsement by the people of the economic and social programmes initiated by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He also said that the people had demonstrated their rejection of the PAS struggle.