BENTONG: Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Pelangai state seat in a by-election today when its candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam won by a majority of 2,949 votes.

The Bentong UMNO Committee member polled 7,324 votes to beat Perikatan Nasional's (PN) Kasim Samat, who obtained 4,375 votes, and independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni, who received only 47 votes and lost his deposit.

The result was announced by returning officer Datuk Mohammad Shahid Ismail at the vote-tallying centre at Dewan Orang Ramai Felda Kemasul here tonight.

Mohammad Shahid said the voter turnout was 72.12 per cent.

A total of 16,456 electors were eligible to cast their ballots in the by-election, including 36 police personnel and three overseas absentee voters.

The Pelangai by-election was held after its incumbent, Datuk Seri Johari Harun, 53, who was also the Pahang Local Government, Housing, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman, died in a plane crash in Shah Alam on Aug 17.

In the 15th general election (GE15) in November last year, BN's Johari won the seat with a 4,048-vote majority, defeating Kasim (PN) who obtained 3,260 votes, Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Ahmed Wafiuddin Shamsuri (2,031 votes) and Pejuang's Isa Ahmad (65 votes).

Amizar's victory ensured Pelangai, located some 200 kilometres from Kuantan, remained a BN stronghold since 1986.

It also ensured that Amizar, 53, continued the legacy of his mentor, former Pahang Menteri Besar Tan Sri Adnan Yaakob, who held the seat for eight consecutive terms from 1986 to 2022, before Adnan chose not to defend his seat, paving the way for the late Johari to succeed him.

Amizar, a native of Felda Chemomoi and who holds a Master's degree in Strategic Management and Leadership from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), made his electoral debut in GE15 as a BN candidate in the Ketari state seat.

However, he lost by a narrow 120-vote majority to PH candidate Su Keong Siong who garnered 9,722 votes in a three-cornered contest which also involved PN candidate Tan Wei Leong (4,290 votes).