KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the level of outcome brought by the opposition in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency following several by-elections there, was questionable.
He said based on this fact, voters in the constituency should give a chance to the Barisan Nasional (BN) to take back the seat in the by-election there on May 7.
“We hope voters in Permatang Pauh will see that their future is bleak under the opposition, based on the outcome (under the opposition) and see the BN as a better alternative,” he said in an interview with the media in Putrajaya, Wednesday.
Najib, who is also BN chairman and UMNO president, said he expected the Permatang Pauh by-election to be a tougher fight as compared to the Rompin parliamentary by-election in Pahang, polling of which is on May 5.
Nevertheless, he said, the BN would do its best to to win the seat in Opposition-held Penang.
The Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election is being held following the decision of the Pardons Board to reject the petition for a royal pardon sought by the Member of Parliament for the constituency, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim through his family members, thus depriving Anwar of his eligibility as an elected representative.
Anwar is serving a five-year jail sentence after being found guilty of sodomising his personal assistant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
The Election Commission fixed nomination day for the Permatang Pauh by-election on April 25, and polling on May 7.
Touching on the Rompin by-election, Najib said the BN was not taking it lightly.
Najib, however, was confident that the BN could show an encouraging performance to keep the seat in the BN fold, based on hard work by all quarters.
“BN has made detailed preparations and our election machinery in both constituencies are all set and their spirits are high, in fact they have done the ground work early.
“The question is whether we can incease our majority in Rompin… (we) cannot assume we will have an easy path,” he said.
Nomination was held Wednesday. The by-election sees a straight fight between Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Hasan Arifin and PAS candidate Nazri Ahmad.
The Rompin by-election was called following the death of incumbent Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis in a helicopter mishap in Semenyih, Selangor on April 4.
In PRU-13, Jamaluddin retained the seat, which he had held for almost six terms, after beating former PAS Wanita chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh with a majority of 15,114 votes.