PAS is still â€˜relaxingâ€™ as of last night as their campaign posts all over Pengkalan Kubor state seat are either left unmanned or run by youngsters playing videos of party leaders speaking which are projected on big screens just to attract people.
At a glance, it is as though the party is not serious about winning the by-election for the seat that has been held by Barisan Nasional (BN) for the past three general elections since 2004.
The campaign posts have been left unattended the past four nights as party members and leaders fought their internal war in Batu Pahat, Johor, the party muktamar that saw a serious rift between the moderates aligned to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the fundamentalists led y party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
But Barisan Nasional (BN), whose campaigners including visiting federal ministers who are having a field day as they have the stage to themselves are not making any new development in wooing the voters as the 24,039 voters seemed to have made up their minds.
Judging from responses of BN campaign which included formal functions, the party has already â€˜poundedâ€™ PAS to shreds, making PAS campaigners crawling for mercy.
However, the reality on the ground and in the kampongs do not reflect such scenario as visitors can see PAS flags and banners continue to grow (new ones being hung and planted) around the kampongs and roadsides, despite no ceramahs being held.
Tonight, ceramah war is expected to hit Pengkalan Kubor as PAS leaders and campaigners have returned from their muktamar to strike BN.
Abdul Hadi is expected to lead the charge tonight with his nightly ceramah but thus far, the Islamist party is not getting any help from its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and speakers.
Missing from the scene are Anwar or his wife who is PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail or director of strategy Rafizi Ramli and also DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and son Lim Guan Eng.
PAS seems to be fighting a lone battle with its old rival Umno in Pengkalan Kubor and the issues thus far raised is an old issue â€“ back to Islam and principles â€“ the issue that split Umno and PAS was born in 1955.
Islamic principle issue was the cause of Umnoâ€™s split and the party religious bureau who included Abdul Hadi at that time left Umno and formed PAS.
Abdul Hadi and majority of the party speakers have been harping on the issue in their nightly ceramahs thus far, and according to the kampong people, â€˜same aje dari dulu sape sekaghe (same thing from before until now).â€™
But then, the same kampong people who are voters admitted they have already made up their minds on who they would vote on Wednesday and they see the rating now as â€œ50-50â€.
Under such assumptions, BN has a lot more work to do to make sure the party maintain the majority gained in last yearâ€™s general election or be seen as losing influence and a Malay heartland.MYNEWSHUB