Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Candidates in final bid to woo voters

pilihanraya kini     1:10 PM    

Today is the last day of campaigning for the Pengkalan Kubor by-election and the polls, which has been uneventful so far, has just shifted into high gear.
Although the rival parties had embarked on their campaign 11 days ago, the final 24 hours are equally critical – if not more – in winning the hearts and support of the voters.
For Barisan Nasional candidate Mat Razi Mat Ail, PAS’ Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim and Independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, today is the day for them to make their final attempt to convince the 24,036 voters that they are the best man for the wakil rakyat job.
Their entire day – from sunrise till midnight – will be filled with door-to-door and even stall-to-stall visits.
They must convince the 400-odd fishermen in Pengkalan Kubor that their welfare will be looked after so that they can continue to go out to sea to earn their living.
They will also need to talk to the youths, on whom the future of this state constituency depends.
About 45% of the voters here are young people and while this shows that they would rather remain in their villages than venture out to bigger towns and cities, their needs, particularly employment, have to be addressed.
This means that there must be more job opportunities for them and even in the agriculture sector – where most of the youths are employed – efforts will have to be taken to expand on downstream activities that can boost their income.
Since Kelantanese are known for their entrepreneurial skills – and the people of Pengkalan Kubor are no exception – it is important for their next elected representative to be able to get them help in expanding operations and connecting them to bigger markets.
There are an estimated 2,000 out-of-town voters in Pengkalan Kubor.
However, the numbers who will be making their way back here to cast their ballots are not likely to be big for several reasons.
The week-long school holidays have just ended and the out-of-towners would have come back in droves by then.
Secondly, as Hari Raya Haji is less than two weeks away, they would rather return to their kampung for the festivities instead of to vote.
Furthermore, polling is tomorrow, a weekday.
Come that day, every vote counts and that final push by the candidates may just be the determining factor in who comes out the winner.

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