With Thursday polling day for Pengkalan Kubor state seat by-election, Siamese voters become the focus of attention as rival parties scramble to break the fort that has been Barisan Nasional (BN) fortress since the seventies.
Some 1,800 Siamese voters see themselves as the â€˜determining factor or king makerâ€™ as BN pushes for higher majority while PAS attempts to chip away BNâ€™s majority of some 1,700 votes polled in last yearâ€™s general election.
The rating by observers now is that BN is leading so far ahead with PAS trailing far behind but they still maintained their reading that BNâ€™s majority might see a reduction of about 600 votes from 1,700.
BN has been open in wooing the Siamese voters with events and ceramahs held daily while PAS has been going â€˜undergoundâ€™ with their house-to-house campaign in the kampongs.
Siamese voters in Telaga Bata, Kubang Panjang, Bunohan and the town of Pengkalan Kubur are now â€˜pamperedâ€™ and their needs are taken immediately but thus far, these voters have been â€˜kind and considerateâ€™ as they do not make any demand.
Little does the general public know that these Siamese citizens of Malaysia are members of party Gerakan, a multi-racial-based party that can recruit Malaysians of any race and religion as members.
Low profile and not even wanted to be seen with any minister in the campaign since nomination day, Gerakan Kelantan state chief Senator Datuk Ng Chiang Chian said these Siamese voters have been loyal to BN since the seventies and still loyal but efforts were being made to disunite them and bring them to PAS.
â€œIt all began before last yearâ€™s general election where my secretary left Gerakan and became PAS Menteri Besar as a senior secretary.
â€œHe was made as the penghulu for Siamese residents in Pengkalan Kubor and since then he has been working hard to break the BN fortress.
â€œWe in Gerakan are trying hard to keep the Siamese voters intact but we know things are no longer the same as before.
â€œThe penghulu, being the Menteri Besarâ€™s senior secretary can dish out aid immediately and this affected the numbers we have been having all this while.
â€œNevertheless, we still have a hold on 90 percent of the 1,800 voters and this number is important to push the BN candidate.
â€œGiven the scenario now where PAS members who voted for BN last year because they did not like Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate have returned to vote for PAS, Siamese voters are the ones that will keep the numbers high for BN on Thursday,â€ he said.
The secretary Law Chin Chua is actively campaigning in the area for PAS at present.
Working behind the scene without publicity and the bright lights, Gerakan members have been pitching tents in these kampongs to make sure the Siamese voters stay intact.
Tonight, PAS has lined-up some 10 ceramahs with all their vice-presidents as speakers in several places in the partyâ€™s attempt to make a comeback after missing for five nights due to the party muktamar held in Batu Pahat, Johor.
Whether the party could catch up with BN is a big question as observers see the Islamist party is still trailing so far behind BN at present.MYNEWSHUB