Religious issue takes centre stage in the Pengkalan Kubor state seat by-election as Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS campaigners cover every inch of the campaign trail day and night to win over the 24,000-odd voters to their side.
Speakers from both sides of the political divide seemed to be more engrossed in telling the crowd their party was more Islamic than the other while local issues were hardly spoken or raised.
The battle-line has been drawn â€“ not the personally of the candidates or local issues that voters needed in their daily life â€“ but which of the party is more Islamic than the other.
The speakers of both sides of the political divide including PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang â€“ minus the BN ministers â€“ have been playing the issue since day one nightly.
Abdul Hadi has been harping on the issue citing examples of Prophet Muhammadâ€™s administration where Islam is the base for government administration.
However, for BN leaders and Ministers, their event have all the while been people oriented and welfare-based where the locals were invited to participate and taught certain skills that could be learnt in a day.
Their night ceramahs were mostly on economic matters and investments, importance of business knowledge and matters that related to the subject.
But when religious speakers took over after the ministers or leaders took off for another venue, religious issue became the topic.
PAS had, from the first day of the official campaign last Saturday, harped on religious issue and criticizing Umno for not focusing on religious principles and laws in government administration.
In short, until last night, the fourth night of the campaign, religion is PASâ€™ main subject while BN spoke on diverse subjects which included religion too.
Ceramahs held nightly along the roadside leading to Pengkalan Kubor town and areas around it attracted passersby as well as locals where in certain areas the main road was jammed but not extreme.
Campaigners of both sides of the political divide practically â€˜pitched tentsâ€™ at strategic kampongs, in some areas side-by-side to make sure the voters know their existence and know the campaigners would be visiting their homes regardless being invited or not.
Daytime is when the campaigners conduct house-to-house campaign and candidates â€“BN Mat Rzai Mat Ail and PAS Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim â€“ meet voters for personal introduction.
Wanita Umno vans could be seen going around the various kampongs, stopping for brief visits and moving on until after lunch time.
PASâ€™ muslimat seemed to be missing but the movement would probably have positioned their members in the houses of the kampong folks as previously done in by-elections in Kuala Besut, Trengganu, and Sungai Limau, Kedah.
However, the 30sq km Pengkalan Kubor area has yet to look like a â€˜political battlefieldâ€™ as flags and banners of contesting parties have yet to colour the streets and kampongs.MYNEWSHUB