The Pengkalan Pasir by-election in December 2005 was keenly contested by two major political forces in the heart of Malay Muslim Kelantan. It was an election with a difference. The ruling coalition at the national level was the underdog contesting in an opposition stronghold in a state controlled by the opposition. The by-election was won by the ruling coalition with a slim majority leaving the opposition party PAS with a one-seat majority in the state assembly. Allegations of phantom voters, civilian roadblocks, and election petitions notwithstanding, the Election Commission claimed that the Pengkalan Pasir by-election was clean and successful and hence a model to be emulated in future elections. This article analyses the Pengkalan Pasir by-election by focusing upon several factors including the constituency's strategic importance, the nature of the party system, its voting patterns in preceding general elections, and its impact on the political system at the national and state levels.


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pp. 407-423
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