Barisan Nasional (BN) will have the battlefield of Pengkalan Kubor state seat to itself by tomorrow night when PAS leaders leave to attend the partyâ€™s muktamar (annual general assembly) beginning Thursday in Batu Pahat, Johor.
BN will have the chance to worm its way to every nick and corner of Pengkalan Kubor as PAS is expected and go on the offensive when the battlefield is â€˜abandonedâ€™ by PAS leaders.
Although the past three nights saw BNâ€™s ceramahs attracted more crowd than PAS, the incumbent party has still a long way to go as many old generation voters are still loyal to PAS and their minds are hard to change.
PAS leaders will be fighting another battle in Batu Pahat, Johor, where the young moderates are expected to go on the onslaught to have the veteran fundamentalists follow their way.
Not to be easily defeated, the fundamentalists are expected to stand behind and protect party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang against the onslaught as the battle lines are drawn clearly following the rift on Selangor Menteri Besar issue.
However, the party is considered matured in that the campaigns in Pengkalan Kubor thus far did not reflect the rift as both moderates and fundamentalists did not raise their internal rift in their ceramahs.
While the party leaders â€˜exchange punchesâ€™ in the party muktamar from Thursday until Sunday, the battlefield in Pengkalan Kubor is open to BN for its taking.
With polling still nine days away, the â€˜near empty PAS fortressesâ€™ for the next four nights are easy target for BN to pound on the minds of voters, particularly the young voters.
There are some 11,059 voters of the total 24,039 under 40 years of age who have yet to have loyalty on the ruling PAS- state government of Kelantan and who are looking for better infra-structure for their small time businesses.
While the above 40 years old voters have somewhat made up their minds on which party they would vote, BN still has got plenty of chances to go for the young voters.
So far, the last three days and nights saw the youngsters crowding at BNâ€™s events and ceramahs as if they were attracted to BN but this could not be translated into votes, said an old voter who was drinking at one of the many restaurants along the road from Kota Baru to Pengkalan Kubor.
Ismail Salim, 57-year old farmer, said BNâ€™s events and ceramahs were located along the roadsides and in several small towns which were accessible to locals by motorbikes and cars.
â€œPAS ceramahs are mostly held in kampongs away from towns which explained the poor attendance.
â€œThe way I see, it is still a 50-50 situation,â€ he said, refusing to be photographed.
Whatever the situation is, the next four nights is for BN and it is how the coalition launch its offensive that matters.MYNEWSHUB