WAN AZIZAH SCORES BIG WIN IN PERMATANG PAUH
TRIUMPHANT ... Elated Keadilan President Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (left) and daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar waving their hands after the former beats Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad with a 9,077 majority for the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary seat here.
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail scored a thumping victory in Permatang Pauh, defeating Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad with a 9,077-vote majority.
Although it was a close fight, political analysts have predicted the majority to be not more than 1,000 votes.
Wan Azizah, the wife of jailed former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, polled 23,820 votes against 14,743 by Ibrahim, a former political secretary of Anwar.
A shocked Wan Azizah described her majority as beyond expectation. Anwar, who has been the MP for Permatang Pauh since 1982, retained the seat with a majority of 23,515 votes in the last election.
The BN also lost two state seats under the parliamentary constituency, one each to PAS and Keadilan. It however retained Seberang Jaya.
BN's Datuk Ahmad Saad lost to Mohamed Hamdan Abdul Rahman in Permatang Pasir. Hamdan received 8,430 votes against Ahmad's 5,236. PAS had won in Permatang Pauh and Sungai Dua state seat in 1978 but lost the seats to BN in the 1982 general election.
In Penanti, Keadilan candidate Abdul Rahman Abdul Kadir, who polled 6,405 votes, defeated BN's Zulkefli Bakar. Zulkefli received 4,422 votes. BN won in Seberang Jaya when its candidate Dr Radin Muhamad Amin Radin Hadi Munir beat his challenger Hairuddin Othman from Keadilan. Radin Muhamad garnered 7,432 votes against Hairuddin's 6,570.
Meanwhile, Wan Azizah described her victory as the people's signal rejecting the BN leadership.
"Apart from sympathy votes, they are also protest votes against the government," she told reporters. She said she was happy and sad because her husband was not around to share the joy.
"I will only be meeting him in two weeks time but I'm thankful to God that it has been proven that the people in Permatang Pauh do not accept the BN leadership," said Azizah, an opthalmologist by training.
Anwar is serving a six-year jail term for corrupt practice. Azizah said she was indebted to the people of Permatang Pauh for supporting her in this election.
She said she would open a service centre in Permatang Pauh and would serve the constituents in the same manner like her husband. Ibrahim, who was not present at the tallying centre at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers' Training College, declined to comment on his defeat when contacted by BERNAMA later.
Meanwhile, in a telephone-interview with Cable News Network (CNN), Azizah said she would strive to address the corruption and abuse of power issues as well as the "fuzziness between the legislative and executives in our system."
"The majority of voters have given me a clear mandate," she said. Although the BN would win the election, the majority have been considerably reduced, she added.