Contrast of brash and quiet styles


PKR information chief Tian Chua clad in his photographer’s vest – the one with lots of pockets – has been hitting the streets since the eve of nomination day and, in his usual brazen and aggressive style, has been trying to drive home his message to the voters.

His opposite number, Umno information chief Tan Sri Muham-mad Muhammad Taib, has been flying in and out of Kuala Terengganu as he had to carry out his ministerial duties and be election director for the ruling coalition at the same time.

Creative: A PAS ‘aircraft’ bearing the party message on display at a roadside in Kampung Tok Adis, Kuala Terengganu.

Whenever he is in town, he would adopt a low-key approach and meet the people directly.

The two men signify the vastly different styles of campaigning adopted by the two sides. It is the aggressive West Coast PKR style versus the more laid-back friendly East Coast style adopted by the Barisan.

When Pakatan Rakyat chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim went to meet voters in Kampung Cina – the Chinese area which has been the focus of all parties – a mega-phone announced his presence.

It proved effective in grabbing attention because almost everyone in the shops and houses came out and shook his hand.

On the other hand, when Barisan leaders went to the area, they did so humbly and did not announce their presence with a mega-phone. They quietly went from shop to shop to meet the occupants and shoppers.

Barisan’s candidate Datuk Wan Farid Wan Salleh and Barisan national leaders prefer the personal touch instead of the aggressive approach of the opposition parties. The ruling coalition is doing away with the usual

pomp that it is usually associated with.

It is not known if the two differing styles are deliberate plans by the respective sides or just a reflection of the personality of those involved in the contest.

However, the contrasting methods have created the impression that PAS’ Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut is in the lead because of the louder Pakatan tactics.

Salleh Awang, a local shopkeeper, observed that the opposition campaigners seemed to be more impressive, especially Chua and his team who are similarly clad in blue vests.

“But I also like the friendly way of the Barisan campaigners who drop by just to shake my hand and ask for my vote,” said Salleh, whose shop is located in the city centre not far from the Chinese enclave.

Another shopkeeper known only as Mich said it was not wise for Barisan to adopt such a low profile tactic as this would give voters the impression that PAS had the upper hand.

Mich and Salleh are typical of the politically savvy Kuala Tereng-ganu residents who threw out the Barisan government in 1999 and then again kicked out the PAS government in 2004.

“We want what is best for Terengganu and we will vote accordingly. We want those who can bring development to the city and state,” Mich said.

PAS is going full force, with ceramahs every night all over the place, while Barisan is limiting itself to meeting the voters in small groups in an informal setting in the evenings.

Anwar’s ceramah on Tuesday was attended by thousands.

Sharing the stage with him were PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Meanwhile, the opposing sides have started putting up flags around the city here after it was widely reported that there was a lack of election items decorating the city centre.

PAS state commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali cited the weather as the reason for not putting up the flags and buntings earlier.

However, posters bearing the faces of Wan Farid and Wahid are still absent.

It remains to be seen if the differing styles will continue when the Barisan big guns descend on Kuala Terengganu over the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today and MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat tomorrow.