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KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 17 — Campaigning ceased at midnight yesterday for an important by-election in the parliamentary constituency of Kuala Terengganu ahead of voting later today. The election is essentially a contest between Datuk Wan Farid Salleh of Umno and Abdul Wahid Endut from the opposition Pas and, although it will be close, most analysts are scenting an opposition victory. In the March 8 general election, Umno beat off Pas by 620 votes.

The reason could lie with the Chinese community which has traditionally leaned towards the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in previous elections in the Malay-majority state. The BN is a 13-party coalition dominated by Umno.This time, however, various issues including dissatisfaction over the rising cost of living and the stunning showing by the Opposition in the March 8 general election may have conspired to push many of them into the Opposition's arms. Indeed, analysts agree that the Chinese vote could be crucial. They comprise 11 per cent of the constituency's 80,000-odd voters and both parties agree that the Malay vote could be split down the middle.

Mustafa Ali, the Pas operation director, told reporters that all he was sure was that “each party has at least 40 per cent Malay support” indicating that he wasn't sure which way the remaining 20 per cent would lean towards. Thus, a decisive swing towards the Opposition by the Chinese — which seems to be the probable outcome — could tip the balance.


Short Talker said...

PAS won 2,631 majority. 28 parliament seats to go.

Anybody interested to sponsor badminton racket to all BN MPs?

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