Aug 17, 2009
By DERRICK VINESH, IAN MCINTYRE, CHRISTINA CHIN, ANN TAN and M. SIVANANTHA SHARMA
It will be a straight fight in the Permatang Pasir by-election - between Rohaizat Othman from Barisan Nasional and Salleh Man from PAS.
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Permatang Pasir by-election on Aug 25 will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional’s Rohaizat Othman and Mohd Salleh Man of PAS.
Returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced at 11.25am that the Election Commission (EC) had accepted the nomination papers of both candidates despite 15 objections being received.
Rohaizat, 38, a legal adviser, submitted his papers at 9.03am while Mohd Salleh, 52, who is state PAS commissioner, sent his in at 9.06am.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who earlier accompanied Rohaizat with many supporters to the nomination centre at the Youth Skills Development Institute (IKBN) here, said he was pleased with the smooth nomination process.
“The Barisan and the Opposition did not display any tense feelings (against each other) and I hope this situation will remain till the end of the campaigning period,” he told a press conference at IKBN here Monday.
Since the campaigning period would be during the fasting month of Ramadan, Muhyiddin appealed to both parties to watch their actions in keeping with the sanctity of the holy month.
However, towards the end of the nomination process, a misunderstanding broke out between PAS supporters and the police, causing Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan to be detained for allegedly starting it.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said the PKR supreme council member did not listen to the police who warned him twice against using provocative words via a loudspeaker.
“The incident started when some 50 Opposition supporters tried to break through our police barricade.
“They later intervened and prevented our men from carrying out their duties,” he said, adding that the incident would be investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code.
DCP Ayub said Gobalakrishnan, who claimed his left hand was fractured in the incident had been to the nearest hospital via ambulance.
Businessman Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, who failed to submit papers as an independent candidate on time, said he was delayed by the traffic congestion en route to the nomination centre.
He arrived at the centre at 9.45am, spoke to reporters for 10 minutes and filed his papers at 9.55am.
He claimed he asked for permission to go to the restroom and when he returned, everyone was leaving then. He then decided not to file his papers.
Nominations, which opened at 9am, closed at 10am.
Among the VIPs at the nomination centre were ministers Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, Datuk Mustapa Mohamaed, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.
Also present were MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas.
Among the opposition leaders present were PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, PKR chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The Permatang Pasir seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman of PAS of heart ailment on July 31.
Mohd Hamdan, who had held the seat for three terms since 1999, garnered 11,004 votes to defeat Ahmad Sahar Shuib of the BN with a 5,433vote majority in the general election last year.
Permatang Pasir has 20,290 registered voters 72.34 percent Malays, 25.86 percent Chinese, 1.64 Indians and 0.16 percent, others.