KUALA LUMPUR – The nomination of candidates for two Selangor state by-elections will see straight fights between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and MCA in Balakong and PH contesting against PAS for the Seri Setia seat.
PH candidate Wong Siew Ki and Tan Chee Teong of MCA will be vying for the Balakong state seat following the death of its incumbent Eddie Ng Tien Chee in a car accident on July 20.
The Seri Setia fight involved Harapan’s candidate, Halimey Abu Bakar, 46, a former Petaling Jaya City Council member and PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali, 58 who was a former Selangor state executive councillor.
The by-election was held following the demise of its incumbent Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin on Aug 2.
Both by-elections in Selangor as well as the Sungai Kandis by-election recently would not change the government of the most developed state as Harapan held 51 of 56 seats in the state assembly.
The results of the first by-election after the 14th general election for the Sungai Kandis seat kept the status quo when PKR candidate, Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni was announced the winner with a majority of 5,842 votes after defeating Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Lokman Noor Adam and Independent candidate, K Murthy lost his deposit.
In the by-election Mohd Zawawi used PKR logo in the campaign while Lokman of UMNO was using the logo of BN which is now a coalition of three parties including MCA and MIC compared to 13 before GE14.
What attracted attention today, was that this was the first time PH which comprises four parties namely PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) was using its logo.
The four coalition parties were earlier using PKR logo in GE14 as the coalition was having a problem with the Registrar of Societies.
The scenario after GE14 also sparked off a new development from MCA which would be using its own party logo instead of the scales of BN for the first time.
The reason for MCA which was almost wiped out in GE14 for using its own logo this time was to change and strengthen the party despite knowing it would be an uphill task to win in Balakong without the help of UMNO which said it would not assist MCA’s campaign as it is Chinese majority constituency.
This was visible when no senior leaders from UMNO or MIC were present to accompany the MCA candidate during nomination at Dewan Utama Demesne, at the Hulu Langat District and Land Office in Bangi, near here.
The question is will a change in logo bring good luck to the parties contesting?
UMNO leaders were seen giving moral support to PAS at Petaling Jaya Civic Hall for the nomination ceremony of Seri Setia which saw party giving way to PAS after the Islamic party did not contest in Sungai Kandis.
UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam who was the candidate of Sungai Kandis by-election, Selangor UMNO chairman Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob, UMNO Wanita head Datuk Noraini Ahmad were present to accompany PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and the move was given the blessing by UMNO secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa himself.
The Election Commission has also made several changes to polling process this time with a 21-day campaign period, additional voting channels for senior citizens, increasing the total channels from 100 to 129 in Balakong and an additional 24 channels in Seri Setia apart from the extending voting time to 5.30 pm.
From the aspect of security and public order, the nomination of candidates from 9 to 10 am proceeded smoothly, even though police were on hand to remind parties not to provoke each other.
There are 62,219 registered voters for the Balakong by-election according to electoral roll of the first quarter of this year which was updated as at July 2.
In Seri Setia, there are 53,492 registered voters.
Polling for both by-elections will be held on Sept 8.