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ARKIB : 21/11/2000

Lunas by-election a three-cornered fight

KULIM Nov 21 - The Lunas state seat by-election in Kedah on Nov 29 is a three-cornered fight with S. Anthonysamy of the Barisan Nasional (BN) facing Saifudin Nasution Ismail of Keadilan and an independent N. Letchumanan.

Returning Officer Osman Salleh announced the three as the candidates in the by-election at the nomination centre here at 1pm today. The Kulim District and Land Office was used as the nomination centre.

Anthonysamy, 59, is a lawyer and a former Kedah MIC assistant secretary while Saifudin, 37, is a businessman and a member of the Keadilan Supreme Council as well as Kedah Keadilan Information Chief.

Letchumanan, 46, runs a transportation company.

The Lunas state seat fell vacant after its assemblyman Dr Joe Fernandez was gunned down by an unidentified assailant in Bukit Mertajam, Penang on Nov 4.

Based on the 2000 electoral rolls, the Lunas state constituency has 26,746 voters comprising 12,102 Malays (45.2 percent), 9,212 Chinese (34.4 percent), 5,413 Indians (20.2 percent) and other races 19 (0.07 percent).

The electorate in the constituency was an increase of 2,265 over the figure in the general election in November 1999.

Dr Fernandez won the Lunas state seat in the general election with a 4,700-vote majority by polling 9,760 votes against 5,060 votes for M. Kathiravelo (DAP), Ibrahim Mohamed Rashdi (Independent) 2,158 votes and N. Letchumanan (Independent) 87 votes.

Letchumanan lost his deposit then.

Keadilan's Saifudin contested the Padang Serai Parliamentary seat in the 1999 general election but lost to BN's Lim Bee Kau.

The Lunas state constituency is within the Padang Serai Parliamentary constituency.

Osman, the Returning Officer, said seven objections were raised but all were rejected.

The Lunas state constituency has 19 polling districts and 44 polling streams and that 12 schools will be used as polling centres on Nov 29.

The campaigning period for the by-election is eight days.

No untoward incident was reported during nomination.

Anthonysamy's nomination was proposed by Yaakob Ahmad and seconded by Tan Yuu Jun, Saifuddin's by Abdul Latif Abdul Wahab and seconded by Abdul Wahab Osman while Letchumanan's was by Mansor Shamsudin and seconded by M. Gunasegaran.

Among BN leaders present at the nomination centre were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, MCA vice president Datuk Chua Jui Meng, Umno secretary general Tan Sri Khalil Yaacob, Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paduka Dr Abdul Hamid Othman and Datuk Dr Rais Yatim and Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.

Also present were Kedah Menteri Besar Kedah Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain, Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo.

Among leaders of the opposition present were Parti Keadilan Nasional president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail and Parti Rakyat Malaysia president Dr Syed Hussin Ali.

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