All 13 independent candidates in the Bukit Selambau state by-election lost their deposits after failing to secure at least one-eighth of the total number of votes cast.

Deputy Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said all of them lost their RM5,000 deposits and stand to lose a further RM3,000 if they did not clean up their election paraphernalia within 14 days after the polling.

“The highest achiever among the independent candidates is Major (Rtd) Anuar Abdul Hamid who polled 528 votes,” he told reporters here.

A total of 24,611 of the 35,140 registered voters cast their votes today.

Wan Ahmad said the Bukit Selambau by-election was the first experience for the EC in handling such a large number of candidates in one area.

“It’s quite a task but with the advancement in the ICT, it was accomplished in a nice way despite the pressure,” he said.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s S. Manikumar won the seat, beating Barisan Nasional’s Datuk S.Ganesan and the 13 independents with a 2,403-vote majority.

Meanwhile, Anuar said he accepted the people’s verdict but did not expect to lose his deposit.

He added that he had no regrets entering the fray in the by-election but ruled out contesting in future elections.

“I’m considering to rejoin Umno after former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad returned to party,” he said, adding that after this he would support the BN.

— BERNAMA