Assessing Chinese Malaysian support

In the meantime, both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat are bringing home some 2,500 Chinese Malaysian voters currently working outside Terengganu to return to cast their ballot in the by-election.

The Nut Graph

The street in Kampung Cina here appears relatively calm despite daytime activities and the intensified campaign for the 17 Jan Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election.

"Actually, it is boiling here," a coffeeshop owner, who wanted to be known only as Chua, said, referring to the close battle for the 8,229 Chinese votes in the constituency.

The campaign is now getting into full gear with Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat grappling to read the sentiment among Chinese Malaysian voters.

Analysts believe it is these voters who will determine the by-election winner, in the same way that they propelled the BN to victories here in the last two general elections.

PAS, which has fielded five-term Wakaf Mempelam assemblyperson Abdul Wahid Endut, is letting the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) steer the campaign in the Chinese areas.

The BN, represented by former Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Farid Wan Salleh from Umno, has MCA and Gerakan to do the job.

"We have been entrusted with the task to deliver the votes in these areas," Terengganu Gerakan chairperson Yap Kea Ping said.

Both sides have had their national leaders going on house-to-house campaigning. They shake hands with voters and distribute mandarin oranges and Chinese New Year cards, as well as hold nightly ceramah.