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Bukit Gantang By-Election

kuew teow with nizar
part 1

Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin appears to be leading the race in the battle for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat. The response from the voters in semi-urban areas, particularly from the non-Malays, seems to be climbing. “I’m the candidate chosen by Pakatan Rakyat. I’m representing the rakyat. Let’s make Bukit Gantang a manifestation to state we no longer agree with Umno-Barisan Nasional... because they have stolen the government, they have stolen the people’s government,” Nizar told the predominantly Chinese audience at a ceramah in Taman Mawar last night.

Among other things, he pointed out his tough anti-racial policy during his 10-month rule over Perak, stressing on the opposition alliance’s philosophy for “justice for all”. Some 70 people had turned up to hear him speak despite the after-dinner downpour. A couple even huddled under their large umbrellas in the open air after they couldn’t find a spot in the cramped space behind the Chinese temple, occupied by bamboo frames for Cheng Beng, the Chinese equivalent of All Souls’ Day.

But Nizar is not naive enough to think he will win on the back of the non-Malay vote alone, as was the case for the late Roslan Shaharum, the previous MP who trumped the Barisan Nasional candidate in the general elections last year. He is shrewd enough to recognise the need for an equally strong Malay backing, especially as he has made the fight about a public referendum for leadership in the state. Nizar is also challenging Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir’s legitimacy as Perak mentri besar.


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