TUMPAT – Hundreds of supporters have gathered at Pekan Tumpat to await the nomination of Umno’s Mat Razi Mat Ail and PAS candidate Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim for the Pengkalan Kubor state assembly seat by-election.
Barisan National and Pakatan Rakyat supporters crowded at the nomination centre as early as 7am Saturday, rousing the sleepy town with a festive and merry wake-up call.
The town also saw a strong police presence since before dawn.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin were present in Pekan Tumpat to show their support for Mat Razi.
At 8.29am, Wan Rosdi arrived along with other PAS and PKR leaders, while Umno candidate Mat Razi arrived at 8.46am.
Senior Barisan leaders including Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-presidents Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai are also at the centre.
Independent candidate Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, who contested in 2013, arrived at the nomination centre with three supporters earlier and said that he will be contesting again.
Born in Kota Baru and living in Kubang Kerian, Izat Bukhary, 47, said his appeal was that he has different principles compared with other candidates, but declined to elaborate on the principles for now.
“I want to thank those who voted for me in the past,” the former architecture lecturer said.
On Aug 20, three-term Barisan assemblyman Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar, 57, succumbing in China to lung cancer.
In the last two general elections, the state seat was contested by PKR and in 2004 by PAS, but the parties lost all three times to Barisan Nasional.
In the 2013 general election, Noor Zahidi beat PKR candidate Saharun Ibrahim and independent Izat Bukhary with a majority of 1,736 votes. The Pengkalan Kubor by-election will be held on Sept 25. – Bernama