PERMATANG PAUH: Tomorrow, which is Thursday, the day Malaysians in general will see whether the 71,890 voters in the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh choose to retain the legacy of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or chart a new history by voting in Barisan Nasional (BN).
With polling fixed for tomorrow, the 12 days of campaigning in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat by-election has given the warring political parties – Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) – extra confidence, each claiming to emerge victorious come Thursday night.
At stake is Anwar’s legacy laced with the normal claims of federal government unpopular policies, PKR candidate who is also party president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail’s image and credibility as party president and the family torch bearer as well as the position of parliamentary opposition leader.
Having lesser stake to lose is BN’s Suhaimi Sabudin, newcomer in mainstream politics, who is aiming to change the voters’s mindset to development perspective.
Both candidates had braved the rain and sunshine the past 12 days, met nearly all the 71,890 voters as they combed every nook and corners meeting them, doing things they had never done before such as digging clogged drains, washing and sweeping floors of houses.
Winning the hearts and minds of thinking voters is no easy taskÂ nowadays voters are not only knowledgeable in political ideologies and religious fundamentals, they also know how to read body languages and deciphering speeches as well as reading in between the lines.
Leaving no stones unturned, Wan Azizah had some 17 meet the people sessions a day, at times reaching 20, that included ceramahs while Suhaimi had similar numbers.
Both candidates were aided by their partners in their respective political pacts – BN aided by MCA and Gerakan, MIC and the various Indian-based parties such as Makal Sakti, while PKR was helped by Chinese-based DAP and leaders of Malay-Islamic party PAS.
The last push tonight before campaigning ends at 12 midnight will be Pakatan Rakyat (PR) premier Goods and Services Tax (GST) ceramah at Taman Ciku while BN plans a 1,000 motorbikes procession around the constituency.
A day earlier, Tuesday night which was last night, PKR held a big talk on GST at Seberang Jaya expo site followed by a procession of about 300 motorcycles procession.
Both sides of the political divide have completed their so-called ‘brain washing’ of voters where the final assault is a show of strength, the motorcycle processions.
The last 12 days of the campaign trail also showed PKR was on the offensive with the nightly ceramah all over the vast constituency while BN on the defensive, preferring the more low-profile house-to-house meet up.
GST dominated the issues raised by PKR while development is BN’s thrustas well as rebutting vlaims that GST burdened the people.
Along the way, both candidates had their problems and setbacks– Permatang Pauh PAS boycott of the by-election because PKR does not support the Islamist party Hudud push while Suhaimi faced the normal BN internal bickering involving Umno as well as verbal clash among coalition parties on Hudud issue.
PAS boycott may see Wan Azizah struggling to keep her husband’s majority of 11,700-plus gained in 2013 general election, which observers still bet on her keeping the seat with lesser majority.
Suhaimi also faces another setback as the just concluded Rompin parliament seat by-election in Pahang was interpreted as erosion of support when BN candidate Hasan Arifin gained half the majority that the late MP Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis gained in 2013 general election.
But both candidates and their respective parties are confident – BN looking at 1,000 majority win and retake the seat hile incumbent PKR looking at 6,000 win and retain the seat.-MYNEWSHUB.CC