BALAKONG, Sept 9 2018 : The voter turnout in the Balakong by-election yesterday was the lowest ever in Malaysian by-election history, according to Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Mohamed Elias Abu Bakar.
Met by reporters after the results were announced for the Balakong by-election at Dewan Demesne, Hulu Langat Land and District Office in Bandar Baru Bangi tonight , Mohamed Elias said only 43 per cent of the 62,219 registered voters cast their ballots in the by-election.
He said prior to this, the lowest voter turnout recorded was for the Penanti by-election in May 2009 which was just 46 per cent.
“This could be because of the mood of the people who may not be so keen to be voting again so soon after the general election. We view this (low turnout) very seriously and we will gather feedback on the factors contributing to it,” he said.
In this by-election, Pakatan Harapan’s candidate Wong Siew Ki, 32, polled 22,508 votes to defeat MCA candidate Tan Chee Teong, 40, by a majority of 18,533 votes. Tan only managed to secure 3. 975 votes.
Meanwhile, the voter turnout for the Seri Setia by-election that was held simultaneously with the Balakong by-election was not much better.
The turnout was just 44.1 per cent. The state seat has 50, 692 registered voters.
EC chairman Tan Sri Othman Mahmood, who was present during the announcement of the results for the Seri Setia by-election, told reporters that the turnouts for these two by-elections were the lowest ever (for by-elections).
“Actually we chose today for these two by-elections because we wanted outstation voters to return to vote in view of the long holiday break. However, the turnouts were still low,” he said, referring the extended weekend break until Tuesday due the King’s birthday celebration and Awal Muharram.
He said it could be because they thought the by-election would not have much of an impact on the political scenario in the country.
However, he said the EC was happy that both by-elections went smoothly without any untoward incidents.
For the Seri Setia by-election, Pakatan Harapan candidate Halimey Abu Bakar defeated Dr Halimah Ali of PAS by a majority of 4,027 votes. – Bernama