BN better organised on nomination day in Rantau by-election

BN better organised on nomination day in Rantau by-election

By: K Pragalath

SENDAYAN: The Rantau by-election nominations today saw Barisan Nasional’s mobilisation of supporters being much more organised than their rivals, Pakatan Harapan.

Pakatan supporters were wearing the red Pakatan shirts as well as the light blue PKR shirts compared to BN supporters in their traditional dark blue shirts.

BN candidate Dato Sri Utama Mohamad Hasan and supporters from Umno, MCA, MIC IPF, Kimma painted the nomination centre in a sea of blue.

Crowd wise too, BN dominated their political foes. By comparison, Pakatan’s crowd was merely one third of BN’s. 

The PAS-MIC cooperation was obvious as they marched to the nomination centre. MIC responded to the cries of PAS’ takbir which is received with ‘Allahu Akhbar’.

It was a four cornered fight for the semi urban seat.

The four confirmed candidates are Mohamad Hasan, Dr S Streram of PKR for Pakatan Harapan and independents R Malarviji and Mohd Nor Yassin.

Dr S Streram’s appearance who failed to wear Pakatan’s red uniform also irked supporters

Most Pakatan leaders who was met outside the nomination centre felt that it was going to be a tough fight for Streram.

“It will be a tough fight but we did win during the general election in Rantau,” said Perak tourism exco member, Tan Kar Hing of Perak.

Johor exco for consumerism, human resource and unity S Ramakrishnan meanwhile told The Leaders Online that the by-election is challenging as Malaysia is currently in a transition period.

PKR vice president Tian Chua noted that the Rantau by-election was vital Mohamad Hasan by virtue of being Umno’s deputy president.

“We need the support of the people to push for continued reforms.  For Umno it is the question of Tok Mat’s survival only,” he said.

“Umno didn’t articulate wheer BN would lead Malaysia.  They are unapologetic and have no self remore over their wrong doing.

“Over the years, Tok Mat also had no vision to transform Rantau,” he added.

He also spoke about a red flag for the Pakatan candidate.

“It is not easy for Pakatan.  There is no advantage for the party in power now.  The people can decide.  There is a danger that the people may use their dissatisfaction over the manifesto in this by election.”

Selangor’s socio-economic empowerment, development and caring government exco V Ganabatirao meanwhile dismissed the notion that the Indian voters may turn out to be the kingmakers in the Rantau by-election.

“If you say Indians will be the deciding factors, what about Chinese and Malay voters. This is Malaysia Baru. 

“It will be the moderates against extremists. (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim always said that the children of the Malays, Chinese and Indians are his children. 

“Streram was nominated based on his merits.  Whoever is a moderate against extremist are the kingmakers,” he said.

BN’s reaction

Opposition leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob meanwhile told reporters that he was unsure whether former prime minister Najib Razak would be making an appearance in the Rantau by-election campaign.

“I don’t know because it is decided by our command centre.  Even they may not know at times because he may come if there is an invitation,” he said in view of Najib’s trial that would begin on Wednesday.

“It is the same for Zahid,” he said in reference to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also facing trial.  He was also present at the nomination centre this morning.

Among the top guns who were present at the nomination centre include Anwar and his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. 

The most senior DAP leader present there was Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran.

The by-election will be held on April 13.

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