Bkt Selambau to choose between the well rested or the exhausted

By Shannon Teoh (The Malaysian Insider)

SUNGAI PETANI, April 7 – As with any normal day in Sungai Petani, most residents were up from the crack of dawn.

But today, they were joined by hordes of outsiders, gearing up to fan the final gusts into the sails of their respective candidates.

However, out of the record 15 candidates, only three are eligible to vote – Barisan Nasional’s Datuk S. Ganesan, PKR’s S. Manikumar and T. Chandrarajan, the local insurance bigshot who has made the biggest mark among the independent campaigns so far.

Judging by the queues in front of some voting centres, turnout should be relatively high as many voters had to be told to calm down as they rushed into their respective schools in a way that the normal occupants probably would not.

Just a few minutes after polling began at 8am, both Ganesan and Manikumar arrived at their respective centres.

While Manikumar’s appearance befitted a man who has been working round the clock for the past two weeks, Ganesan had his usual perma-smile on.

He has already attributed his tireless energy during campaigning due to his background as a sportsman and told reporters that he had slept well last night, even though nobody asked.

“I am relaxed, I have done my duty. People’s expectations are high and the assemblyman must be a bridge for these expectations.

“I can be the bridge between them and the federal government. Once chosen, I will serve them because this is not about personal glory,” he said.

Manikumar, on the other hand, said that he was feeling exhausted when reporters asked him how he felt.

They had actually wanted to know how confident he felt and of course, like any good candidate, he said he was extremely confident.

“As Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said, we are looking for an increased majority. I am certain of winning,” he said, referring to the PKR de facto leader.

After casting his vote, Manikumar looked relieved.

“We have worked the ground as hard as we can and I hope that we have shown that we are the hope of the people,” he added at the fourth of seven occasions where the press stopped him for comments.

His words would not disappoint one wheelchair-bound party worker who sat outside his voting centre waving a PKR flag with a poster of Manikumar in his lap.