KANGAR: Stunned – that was how Perikatan Nasional’s Perlis chairman Mohd Shukri Ramli described his feeling after the votes had been counted.

The wave of negative sentiment for Barisan Nasional struck Perlis so hard that the coalition is completely left out of the state government.

Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim described the massive victory as “extraordinary, awesome and great”.

Exhausted but looking somewhat contented, they sat side by side to give a press conference in the early morning on Sunday after results were made official.

GE15 for Perlis included voting for its three parliamentary seats and 15 state seats.

Perikatan bagged all three parliamentary seats and took over 14 of the state seats, while Pakatan took one state seat.

In GE14, Barisan took 10 state seats, Pakatan three and PAS two.

The wave of Barisan rejection this round shows in the numbers: Despite being in a three-cornered fight, Shahidan gained 51.7% of the votes in Arau.

With his 31,458 votes, he left Barisan’s Datuk Rozabil Abd Rahman and Pakatan’s Fathin Amelina Falie coughing in the dust with 8,242 and 7,089 votes respectively.

While Shahidan contested under the PAS ticket after being snubbed by Umno in this election, his comrade in the Padang Besar seat did not do well.

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, also dropped and later sacked by Umno, contested as an Independent and garnered only 1,939 votes, losing his deposit, while Perikatan’s Rushdan Rusmi now sits in the Padang Besar seat with a comfortable 24,267 (40.3%) of the votes.

In the state seat fights, the supremacy of Perikatan was even more evident.

Despite being in a four-cornered battle for Guar Sanji against Barisan, Pakatan and Pejuang candidates, Perikatan’s Mohd Ridzuan Hashim received 58.4% of the votes.

In the rural state seat of Simpang Empat, Perikatan’s Razali Saad held his own in a six-cornered fight with Barisan, Pakatan, Pejuang, Warisan and an Independent – and still clinched 50.4% of the votes.

Except for the Kuala Perlis state seat where Perikatan won with a majority of just 154, the coalition took all the other state seats with comfortable four-figure majorities.

The lone ranger from Pakatan in Perlis is Gan Ay Ling, 48, who defended her Indera Kayangan state seat after receiving 33.4% of the votes and winning with a majority of 1,873.

Born in Negri Sembilan and married with three children, Gan spent a year as a city councillor on Penang island before PKR sent her to contest in Perlis in 2018.

Indera Kayangan is in downtown Kangar with suburban voters who could click well with Gan’s persona.

Elsewhere in Perlis, however, in this land full of padi fields and harumanis mango orchards, voters decided they prefer the PAS-Bersatu union.

Voter turnout in Perlis was 76.94%, according to the Election Commission.

Of the 148,277 votes cast for Perlis’ three parliamentary constituencies of Padang Besar, Arau and Kangar, 80,287 (54.14%) chose Perikatan.

At the press conference on Sunday, Shahidan made clear his view that Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi needed to step down to start a pact between Barisan and Perikatan.

“I hope Ahmad Zahid will give a chance to (Umno vice-president) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob to lead Umno. The struggle for Malay rights in Umno and Perikatan is the same. We want to be friends again. If not, it will be difficult,” said Shahidan.