Post-GE14 fatigue a factor behind low Balakong, Seri Setia voter turnout

Zahratulhayat Mat Arif

IPOH: Post general election fatigue has been described as a factor behind the low voter turnout in the recently concluded Seri Setia and Balakong by-elections.

DAP deputy secretary-general, Nga Kor Ming, said the low turnout is not unusual and that many factors should be taken into account.

“If we look at history, it is normal to experience low voter turnouts when a by-election is held right after the general election. There will be a voter fatigue factor.

“The low turnout is also caused by the long holiday period, on top of the lengthy 21-day campaigning period,” he said.

Nga was speaking to reporters after officiating the Jelapang community centre at the Jelapang Business Park on Sunday.

The Balakong by-election saw only a 43 per cent voter turnout while the Seri Setia by-election recorded a turnout of 44 per cent.

The Election Commission (EC) said it would be studying the causes behind the low numbers.

Nga said, despite the numbers, 85 per cent of the voters sided with Pakatan Harapan (PH), which sent a clear message on its level of support.

“PH is grateful and we thank the support extended to us. It is also evident that Barisan Nasional (BN) is splitting up, with MCA using their own logo for the first time.

“This was a trick by MCA because they are still with BN and yet, they were using their own logo. However, it did not fool the voters in Balakong,” he said.

Nga said PH will continue to fulfil all the pledges made in its manifesto.

PH on Saturday won the Seri Setia seat when its candidate, Halimey Abu Bakar, captured 13,725 votes to defeat Pas’ Dr Halimah Ali who secured 9,698 votes.

In Balakong, PH candidate Wong Siew Ki secured the seat by raking in 22,508 votes, roundly defeating her MCA opponent Tan Chee Teong with a 18,533-vote majority. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd