In the up-coming Kuala Trengganu by-elections scheduled January 17, 2009, the person most concerned with the outcome of the election is non other than UMNO’s Deputy President Dato Seri Mohd Najib. He is being entrusted by the party to lead the campaign and to ensure that BN retains the KT parliamentary seat.
Najib was in a similar position during the Permatang Pauh by-election last year, where we saw him swore that he wasn’t involved in the Altantuya murder case. But the swearing had little effect on the outcome to election, which was won by Anwar Ibrahim of Pakatan Rakyat by a thumping majority. The BN too played up the Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case featuring the nightly video of the confession of Saiful. I am just wondering where is this Saiful fellow now?
The KT by-elections campaigning now takes a much different approach. No swearing and no video show. Even Anwar’s campaigning is so much subdued, and Najib’s much viewed campaign speeches on prime time TV news makes it look like it is Najib that is the BN candidate, and not Wan Ahmad Farid. With so much of Najib being extensively featured daily in both the print and electronic media, Wan Ahmad Farid’s chances of winning is most likely to be affected.
I had just received an SMS from a friend in KT who says that PAS chances of winning the by-election is now rated at 57-43. It was 50-50 at the start of the campaigning. I do not know whether to believe or not to believe in the rating. But what I hear on TV and read from the mainstream media is that it is an assured win for the BN candidate. And likewise, I do not know whether to believe or not to believe in what I hear or read.
Certainly, KT and the state of Trengganu in particular, has been receiving loads to ‘gifts and handouts’ from the federal government since the start of the campaigning. Money seems to be ‘falling from the sky’; this despite many who claims that our economy is not doing too well. I hear too that school children in KT will be given a laptop each, and that’s the most generous gift ever by the federal government.
They say that the Chinese voters in KT are the ‘king makers’ in this by-election. Hence, every effort is made to win them over to the parties contesting. Of course, BN has an edge with money being poured into Chinese schools, and even for the construction of new temples. This is ‘durian runtuh’ for the Chinese community in KT, and if BN still loses the Chinese votes, this may be a bad omen for BN/UMNO continued rule in Trengganu.
The KT by-election is certainly a severe test for UMNO’s leadership, particularly that of Najib, and losing is not an option. Hence, the pressure is on the BN/UMNO, and should BN lose the by-election, I am quite sure many heads in UMNO will fall, and Najib is no exception.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 13.10 pm on Jan 13, 2009