Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, Terengganu Menteri Besar, sealed a decisive victory in the recent Kemaman parliamentary by-election, maintaining control over the seat with a solid majority of 37,220 votes. The success of Samsuri, who is also considered as Pas' prime minister candidate, is seen as a significant development that could potentially alter the political landscape of Malaysia.
Ahmad Samsuri: A Hope for Non-Malay Votes
As the Pas elections deputy director, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, highlighted, non-Malay votes in this by-election increased to 31 percent, suggesting Samsuri's appeal extends beyond the Malay community. Samsuri's moderate mannerism has earned him widespread respect and is believed to be a vital factor in attracting the non-Malay vote bloc. Despite his background, within Pas, it is improbable for Samsuri to be the destined leader. Instead, he is seen as the poster boy to win over the non-Malays.
Political Lethargy Among the Indian Community
On the ground, there are murmurs of political fatigue among the Indian community, particularly those unaffiliated with any party. This sentiment, coupled with the current political climate, could potentially impact future electoral outcomes.
Anwar Ibrahim's Take on Ahmad Samsuri's Victory
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim weighed in on Ahmad Samsuri's victory, describing it as a potential pacifier for the country's heated political environment. He commended Samsuri's moderate image, contrasting it with the more extreme attitudes of the PAS leadership. Anwar extended his congratulations to Samsuri and expressed hope that he would effectively carry out his new duties as a Member of Parliament.
Analysts perceive the resounding victory of Parti Islam Se Malaysia's PAS candidate Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar as a potential catalyst for the party's ambitions at the federal level. Samsuri's landslide margin is an indication that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's continuous efforts to appeal to the Malay Muslim voters may not have yielded the desired results. PAS could leverage this victory and its coalition partner Bersatu's weaker political position to assert itself as the dominant force in the coalition.