Monday, December 15, 2008

BN is confident of retaining Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat

The Kuala Terengganu by-election will be held on Jan 17 following the death of its Member of Parliament Datuk Razali Ismail Razali on Nov 28, 2008.

In the 12th General Election on March 8, 2008, there were 80,325 voters in P36 Kuala Terengganu; voter turnout was 66,132 or 82.3%. Razali Ismail of UMNO-BN obtained 32,582 votes, defeating Mohamed Sabu of PAS 31,934 votes by a very slim majority of 628 votes. Independent candidate Puan Maimun Yusuf who managed to get 685 votes and there were 931 spoil votes.

Kuala Terengganu, with Malays making up 90 per cent of the strong electorate, 11% Chinese voters in the electorate who have traditionally backed MCA.

The by-election is going to be an absolute fought between UMNO and PAS, or rather Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. PAS are facing internal problems and tussles within PR component parties as all parties in PR can’t cuts across racial lines.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak handed over RM408.6 million in oil royalty to Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said and the state government tabled a balanced budget of RM1.799 billion for the year 2009 to ensure the government can implement high-impact projects for the people, the moves seen by many observers as a bonus to BN.

PAS, a nearly exclusively Malay-Muslim party, is not very optimistic of the Malay votes as Anwar and his colleagues in the Pakatan Rakyat cannot be trusted to safeguard their position.

The PR government seems to create the image of uphold Malay rights and would sell out the Malays. The stand on Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay Supremacy, the New Economic Policy, social contract pertaining to Malay sovereign rights, Malay Rulers, Islam as the official religion, Bahasa Malaysia as the national language and pig farms in Selangor have had to allay fears of Malays being sidelined and may cause Malay voters to lean towards BN.

The wrestling of power between PAS's conservatives and reformists will not only chart the future path of the party, but will also affect the cooperation among the three Pakatan component parties as well as the faith of voters towards the opposition pact.

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