By Zurairi AR
SHAH ALAM, May 6 — PAS’s Khalid Abdul Samad successfully kept his Shah Alam federal seat by a wider margin in Election 2013, as voters rejected Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate Datuk Zulkifli Noordin.
The incumbent won 49,009 votes to Zulkifli’s 38,070, keeping a 10,939-vote gap from his rival.
The intense battle between the two men was seen as a referendum on the Muslim soul, with Khalid viewed as a champion of the progressive side of the faith kept by 60 per cent of the country’s 28 million people while Zulkifli, a former PAS and PKR member, was seen as a vocal campaigner for a return to a hardline stance.
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Since 2008, observers have seen a shift in sentiment among Shah Alam’s Malays who view PR with suspicion following several religious controversies, including Christians insisting on their right to use the term “Allah”, which many Malays believe to be exclusive to Muslims.
Shah Alam’s religious minority also took issue with right-wing Malay groups after the latter dragged a bloodied cow head to the state secretariat building in August 2008 to protest the state PR government’s decision to shift a Hindu temple into a Malay-majority residential neighbourhood.
In 2008, Khalid had beat BN’s Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin by a 9,314 majority, having lost to the same man in 2004 by a 13,410-vote majority.
Malays made up 69 per cent of the 100,076 registered voters in the seat, Chinese 15 per cent, and Indians 14 per cent.
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