Sungai Limau: Winners and losers

by Zulkifli Sulong, Features and Analysis Editor
The Malaysian Insider
November 05, 2013

Datuk Mahfuz Omar must have been the happiest man in Kedah last night. Yesterday’s by-election which saw PAS retaining the Sungai Limau state seat was Mahfuz’s first since being appointed the Kedah PAS commissioner. On the other hand, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is a man in grief. He led the Barisan Nasional charge and lost, the second blow for him after losing the Umno vice-presidential race weeks earlier.

The following are the winners and losers of the Sungai Limau by-election.


1. PAS

PAS leaders and supporters in the country are certainly delighted with the win. It goes without saying that numerous parties and functions will be held to celebrate the win. The win may have helped alleviate tensions within the PAS leadership ahead of the upcoming PAS Muktamar from November 22 to 24, 2013.

2. Datuk Mahfuz Omar

The newly-minted state commissioner is a big winner. He had just taken over the position after the 13th general election when the late Tan Sri Azizan Razak was undergoing treatment in Penang.

The win will cement his role in Kedah and also boost his chances at the PAS Muktamar as he defends his vice-presidency. Despite earlier talks that Mahfuz was in danger of losing, Mahfuz’s win at the party polls looks like a sure bet.

3. Mohd Azam Abdul Samat

Azam, 35, is the assistant headmaster at Sekolah Menengah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan An Nahzah, Bukit Besar. He was an unknown prior to the by-election. Now, as the state representative for Sungai Limau, his routine is bound to change.

4. Ilham Centre

The prediction by the PAS-linked research institute, that the party would win between 53% to 55% of the Sungai Limau votes in the by-election, has come true. Ilham had also accurately forecasted results of by-elections in the past, and its credentials were challenged when some predictions indicated a BN win. Ilham executive chairman, Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar, is now vindicated.

5. Sungai Limau residents

Sungai Limau voters won irrespective of who they voted for. They were presented a whole lot of goodies from the Kedah state government and Putrajaya. Sugar was sold at RM1 per kg, 5 kg of rice at only RM5, not to mention other forms of assistance including spectacles and padi fertiliser.


1. Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir

The man most hurt following the BN failure to wrest Sungai Limau from PAS is none other than Mukhriz. This is his second defeat in as many outings after his failure to win one of the three Umno vice-president’s posts in the recent Umno polls. Mukhriz was one of the hardest workers during the by-election campaign, being in Sungai Limau from morning till night to ensure smooth running of the BN machinery. At the last minute, he brought in his father, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to ramp up support for BN. It was not enough.

2. Umno

The clash in Sungai Limau was more between Umno and its traditional nemesis PAS, than between Pakatan Rakyat and BN. Yesterday’s defeat means failure on Umno’s part to penetrate the PAS stronghold, despite Umno emerging victorious last May in the Jerai parliamentary constituency, where Sungai Limau is located.

3. Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim

Sohaimi resigned from his position as a senior lecturer at the Sultan Idris Teaching University (UPSI) to contest in the by-election. Although the BN is likely to help him with new opportunities, there is no guarantee he will be fielded again.

4. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

As the BN election director in Sungai Limau, Muhyiddin suffered a blow to his pride. He spent a lot of his time and energy trying to ensure that Sohaimi would emerge victorious but was ultimately rejected by the Sungai Limau voters. The by-election also left a sour note for Muhyiddin, as he had to apologise to the late Azizan’s family for his remarks linking the former Kedah Menteri Besar’s diabetes to Putrajaya’s decision to remove sugar subsidy.

5. Putrajaya and Kedah state government

Millions of ringgit was spent by both the federal and state government to “buy” votes in Sungai Limau. How will government leaders answer when it claimed that the removal of the sugar subsidy was to reduce the number of diabetic cases, but then gave out sugar packs for a song in Sungai Limau? Does the government want the voters in Sungai Limau to get diabetes? The cheap sale meant additional costs for the government – at the expense of the taxpayers. – November 5, 2013.

  1. #1 by bennylohstocks on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 5:33 pm

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Syabas PAS.

    Syabas Mahfuz.

    Oh, oh….Putrajaya…time to change tenant. GE14.

  3. #3 by Noble House on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 3:01 am

    Najib said today, the by-election result showed an increase in the Chinese support for BN.

    Will Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia headlines be: “Tsunami Melayu” and “Apa lagi Melayu mahu” with the usual profound touch from Awang Selamat, that is?

    That said, PAS should not be too contented with this win as its popularity votes have been declining since GE12 with 3,212 to 2,774 in GE13 to1,084 in the by-election. The majority secured shows a drop of almost 61% compared to that of GE13.

    Nonetheless, a win is still a win. And considering the might of the BN machinery and the usual election gimmicks, it is all the more sweeter.

  4. #4 by bangkoklane on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 8:09 am

    The Malays do not want handouts. They want their pride like all other Malaysians. They want opportunities to own houses, cars, land, better public transport, a better life and job opportunities. They do not want to have to go to Singapore to work. They want fair opportunities for all Malaysians not just for dumno, and bn hotshots.

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 10:26 am

    True pride Malays that’s is to say unlike Bumno Malays.Setia kepada agama,bangsa dan Negara.Lead by example and show no any amount bribe will buy your faith and azam. Yo ! Sungai LImau brothers and sisters………padan muka Bumno ! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  6. #6 by DAP man on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 3:12 pm

    Why was sugar sold ar RM 1.00 when UMNO has been saying that cheap sugar causes diabetes and loss of libido?????

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