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PENGKALAN KUBOR BY-ELECTION: Three-Cornered Fight

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TUMPAT – The Pengkalan Kubor state seat by-election will see a three-cornered contest involving Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mat Razi Mat Ail, PAS candidate Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim and an Independent, Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary.

Returning officer Mohd Sobri Ramli announced the candidates after the closing of nominations at the Tumpat District and Land Office.

He said the Election Commission received the nomination papers from Wan Rosdi at 9.05am, followed by Mat Razi at 9.06am and Izat Bhukhary at 9.17am.

The nomination process which began at 9am went on smoothly with thousands of supporters of the contesting political parties adhering to the rule of gathering outside the nomination centre which closed at 10am.

The 48-year-old Mat Razi, clad in red baju Melayu, was accompanied to the nomination centre at 8.40am by BN supporters led by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The leaders present among the 5,000 BN supporters included the three Umno vice-presidents, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The others were MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Wanita head Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Kelantan BN chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Mat Razi is former Tumpat district education assistant officer and is a Tumpat Umno division committee member.

PAS candidate Wan Rosdi, 56, who was in green baju Melayu, was accompanied by party deputy president Mohamad Sabu, PKR vice-presidents Tian Chua and Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and Kelantan PAS commissioner Datuk Ahmad Yakob, together with about 2,000 supporters.

Wan Rosdi is Tumpat PAS secretary and a building contractor.

Izat Bukhary, 47, a former polytechnic lecturer, arrived at the nomination centre with a number of supporters at 8am.

Izat Bukhary, who chose to wear black baju Melayu, had vied for the Pengkalan Kubor seat in the 13th general election last year, also as an Independent candidate, but lost the contest and his deposit after obtaining only 65 votes.

The nomination process went on smoothly under tight police watch amid fine weather.

The by-election is being held following the death of Pengkalan Kubor assemblyman Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar, 57, from liver cancer on Aug 20.

There are 24,039 registered voters in the constituency comprising 23,929 ordinary voters, 109 early voters and one who is overseas.

Early voting is on Sept 21 while polling for the rest is on Sept 25.

In the last general election, the late Noor Zahidi won the seat by defeating PKR candidate Saharun Ibrahim and Izat Bukhary with a 1,736-vote majority. – BERNAMA

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