Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PKR, DAP top guns still missing in PAS’s #PRKPengkalanKubor campaign

pilihanraya kini     1:48 PM    

The Pengkalan Kubor by-election is only three days away, but there is still no sign of top leaders from DAP and PKR to help their Pakatan Rakyat (PR) ally PAS in the campaign. 

Instead, for the past week, other than its own leaders, the Islamist party had to make do with ‎second tier PKR leaders such as vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Akin and Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
This is a stark contrast to the recent Teluk Intan by-election, wh‎ich saw PR top leaders take part in ceramahs as they campaigned for DAP candidate Dyana Sofya ahead of polling day on May 31.
Since then, ties between PAS and its allies had taken a blow, largely due to the dispute over the Selangor menteri besar (MB) post.
‎However, PAS election‎ deputy director, Zaki Ibrahim, dismissed suggestions that PKR and DAP leaders were boycotting PAS in its campaign to wrest the Pengkalan Kubor state seat from Barisan Nasional..
"We are working on getting them, but they haven't confirmed yet that they will come," said Zaki, referring to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamed Azmin Ali, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng.
"They are not boycotting us. Maybe they can't come down because they are busy handling the Selangor menteri besar affair," he told The Malaysian Insider.
Zaki said that apart from Shamsul and Nik Nazmi, PKR Wanita leaders and even former Pengkalan Kubor's PKR candidate, Saharun Ibrahim, have given PAS a helping hand in Pengkalan Kubor.
Despite absence of top leaders, Zaki said PKR grassroots leaders were attending the daily meetings on the campaign.
"All the Kelantan PKR divisions and branch leaders attend our meetings. So this means there is no boycott."
On the ground, PAS campaign workers told The Malaysian Insider that their relationship with PKR grassroots members were unaffected by the tiff at the top.
Abdul Rahman Yakub, a campaign worker from Wakaf Baru, shrugged off the lack of DAP machinery, saying that‎ the party had no presence in the constituency due to the low number of Chinese voters.
"PKR has been helping us a lot. But it's expected that PAS will have the biggest presence as Tumpat is our stronghold," he said.
PAS member, Eliasa Abdul Rahman, 43‎, told The Malaysian Insider that ties with local PKR members had actually improved over the week.
"We've been going house to house to campaign. PKR is pulling the same weight as it always did.
"If there is any hostility between the parties, it's only at the central leadership ‎level," he told The Malaysian Insider.
But another campaign worker, Aziz Mohd Zin, said the spat in PR had been exaggerated by the media.
"Even the (Penang) Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, came recently to give a ceramah. I'm happy with how PKR has helped in the campaign," he said.
Early voting for the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election involving 109 policemen was held yesterday at the polling centre in the Tumpat district police headquarters.
The ballots will be counted after polling day on September 25.
T‎he by-election is a three-way fight between BN's Mat Razi, PAS's Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim and independent, Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary.
It was triggered by the death of three-term assemblyman, Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar of BN, on August 20.
Last year, Noor Zahidi won by 1,736 votes, defeating PKR’s Saharun. Izat only managed to gain 65 votes.
Pengkalan Kubor has 24,039 voters, comprising 92% Malays, 6.8% Siamese and 1% Chinese. – September 23, 2014.

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