While UMNO/BN has named its candidate for the Kuala Trengganu by-election scheduled January 17th 2009, PAS, the obvious party to challenge the UMNO candidate, has declared that its candidate will be named on January 1st 2009. This delay has raised many questions among party watchers, with some casting doubts that an agreement by the PAS party leadership could be reached by January 1st. To others, it is an element of surprise for the BN, as PAS now has the advantage to field a candidate that can best challenge the UMNO candidate.
Since naming Senator Wan Ahmad Farid, who is also the Kuala Trengganu UMNO Division chief as the candidate, he is now the most popular personality to appear in both the electronic and print media. There is also a sudden surge in news relating to Trengganu, featuring the development that has been undertaken by the BN state government, and this is quite expected in any elections.
UMNO's Deputy President Najib Tun Razak says that BN is confident of retaining the parliamentary seat, and believes that Wan Farid Ahmad is UMNO Trengganu best choice.
I watched the news aired on TV, when the announcement was made by Najib to name Wan Ahmad Farid as UMNO's candidate. I noticed that the Trengganu Menteri Besar, though seen standing on the stage when the announcement was made, was not in the fore front to lift the hands of Wan Ahmad Farid. It was Najib and UMNO's Secretary General Tengku Adnan who both lifted the hands of the candidate. I would have thought that the Menteri Besar being the executive head of the state, would play a prominent role; not Tengku Adnan.
This incident though seemed insignificant by many, had caused others to speculate that Wan Ahmad Farid may not be the choice of the state UMNO, and definitely not that of the Menteri Besar. Speculations are rife too that Wan Ahmad Farid, having been a personal staff to the Prime Minister, is also the choice of the PM's son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ). Speculations like this may hurt the candidate, and it is being made even worse if KJ's name is mentioned. Haven't BN learn a lesson from the Permatang Pauh fiasco?
I believe, the reaction of UMNO Trengganu, and those fence sitters would have been different if it was the Menteri Besar who had made the announcement.
In the absence of a PAS candidate, it is still too premature to conclude which party wins the by-election. Up till now, PAS/PR has remained silent as to their chances of winning. Or are they finding it too difficult to choose a winning candidate?
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 4.15pm on Dec 27, 2008