PETALING JAYA: The party that can unite the people without playing the race card will win the two ongoing by-elections, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Salleh Said Keruak.
“It has to be a unity of all races before you can be assured of winning the by-election, especially when it is not a straight fight and all the candidates are Malay,” he said in his blog on Friday.
Salleh Said was concerned that campaigns in both constituencies were “going off tangent” and missing “the forest for the trees”.
According to Salleh Said, one ethnic group cannot pull off a win as the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar constituencies are roughly two-thirds Malay and one-third non-Malay, mainly Chinese.
“That is something campaigners from both sides need to take into consideration if they want to see their party emerge the winner.
“It is normal in any election, and for any party from both sides of the political divide, that there will be some dissatisfaction regarding the choice of candidate,” he added.
Salleh Said said Barisan Nasional had always been able to overcome hurdles when the situation demands it, and expressed confidence that the party will stand together to ensure a win.
These two by-elections, he said, are very important as they are testing grounds to see whether Pakatan Harapan has what it takes to make an impact in the next general election.
“If they win these two by-elections, or even just one of the two by-elections, that would give the Opposition the impetus for the next general election.
“If not, then they would suffer a setback that will take them a long time to overcome and which will never happen before or by the next general election,” he concluded.