Almost one-third of the total number of candidates who contested in the 11th Sarawak state election, lost their deposits.
Based on information collated from the Election Commission’s (EC) website, 69 candidates, mostly independent, lost their individual RM5,000 deposits from the total of 229 candidates.
This meant 30 percent of the poll’s candidates collectively lost a total of RM345,000.
The 69 candidates failed to secure the minimum of one-eighth of the ballots cast, required to save their deposits.
Out of the 36 independent contestants in the Sarawak poll, 20 lost their deposits. The opposition’s biggest parties, PKR and DAP, on the other hand, saw 10 out of their 40 candidates and seven out of 31, respectively, similarly losing their deposits.
Nine of Parti Amanah Negara’s (Amanah) 13 candidates lost their deposits while its arch-rival, PAS, saw an equally crushing defeat with seven from its 11 candidates losing their deposits.
But none fared worse than the State Reform Party (Star) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru).
All of Star’s 11 candidates lost their deposits while PBDS Baru’s five candidates from the five fielded in the state poll met a similar fate.
BN, which captured 72 out of the 82 seats it contested, saw all its candidates keeping their deposits.
Four BN candidates in particular, managed to see their way through, even though they were in multi-cornered fights.
BN’s Muara Tuang candidate Idris Buang garnered a total of 9,503 votes and saw his competitors, PAS’ Zulkipli Ramzi and Amanah’s Abang Abdul Halil Abang Naili, losing their deposits.
Sadong Jaya incumbent state assemblyperson Aidel Lariwoo retained his seat and beat PAS’ Asan Singkro, Amanah’s Othman Mustapha @ Mos and independent candidate Awang Rabiee Awang Hosen, while fellow incumbent for the Kuala Rajang state seat Talif @ Len Salleh garnered a total of 6,235 votes, beating Amanah’s Sopian Julaihi and independent candidate Asbor Abdullah.
Both incumbent state representatives managed to ‘take’ all of their rivals’ deposits.
It was the same for BN’s Pelagus candidate Wilson Nyabong Ijang, who defeated DAP’s Frankie Bendindang Manjah and independent candidate Yong Sibat with a total of 3,778 votes.
BN, in capturing 72 of the state seats contested, achieved 87.8 percent of the state legislative assembly.
Merely winning the election is therefore an understatement as the coalition had improved considerably from the 2011 state election, where it managed to secure 78.6 percent of the House.