Wahid’s stint as exco useful to court Chinese courting

(NST) – Pas blames split-voting in last year's general election for its loss in this parliamentary constituency.

Terengganu Pas commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali said it was clear from the March 8 polls that voters wanted the party to represent them at the state level and BN in Parliament.

He said about 1,000 people who had voted for Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, the Pas by-election candidate, as the state representative for Wakaf Mempelam last March, also voted for the late Datuk Razali Ismail of BN as their MP.

Razali won by over 600 votes from Pas' Muhammad Sabu.

Mustafa said the "lost" votes to Razali were due to the fact that Muhammad, who hails from Penang, was seen as an outsider. This time, Mustafa said, Pas had fielded a well-known local.

Wahid has held the Wakaf Mempelam state seat for five terms.

Wahid is optimistic of his chances, given his long tenure, familiarity with the locals and his experience as a former state executive councilor.

He is banking on the networks he has built during his time as the exco in charge of entrepreneur development to help him court the Chinese community, which provides a deal-making 9,000 votes.

Mustafa said the Chinese voting pattern in the Bandar state seat in the 2008 election, which is being held by BN's Toh Chin Yaw of MCA, also reflected this split-voting trend.

"Most of them voted for the BN candidate for state assemblyman as he was a Chinese candidate but many chose the Pas candidate as MP," said Mustafa.

The other two state seats in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary constituency are Batu Burok and Ladang.