On 25th August 1988, the first electoral battle between UMNO baru and the dissident groups in the old UMNO. The Johor Baru by election was held because Shahrir who refused to join UMNO baru, vacated his parlimentary seat and forced the by election to test Mahathir's new party. In this crucial battle, Shahrir as an independent candidate from Team B in the old UMNO gained 23,581 (64.6 %) while the UMNO baru candidate received only 10,968 (29.8 %).
In the 1986 general election Shahrir, as an UMNO candidate obtained 19346 (51.8% of the total votes) whiles a PSRM candidate had taken 17,114 (45.8%). It was widely believed that Shahrir had won a substantial share of the Malay vote although his Chinese support was also impressive, especially from DAP. Read here Personalized Politics: The Malaysian State Under Mahathir by In-Won Hwang - 2003 - Political Science
And 20 years later, August 2008, another political heat is being generated in Malaysia, even before the date is decided for what is being billed as ‘the mother of all by-elections’, to be contested by controversial opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar arrived Sunday to a rapturous home-coming from large crowds at Permatang Pauh, the parliamentary constituency vacated by his wife to facilitate the by-election.
He told a rally hearing him in ‘rapt attention’ that he would contest even if he was placed ‘completely behind bars’, and win, The Star newspaper said Monday. The reference to jail is because of the sodomy charge (click) slapped against Ibrahim, 63, by a political aide in June that has had him battling the government in court and at police stations. Read here:Malaysia prepares for ‘mother of all’ by-elections involving Ibrahim SINDH TODAY, Pakistan
It is only best for Shahrir Samad to lead the Barisan Nasional's UMNO election campaign, since he has travelled a similar road 20 years earlier. But sad enough, Shahrir is suffering from a serious inward looking syndrome (click)