It’s a ‘fight to the finish’

(Free Malaysia Today) – The Galas parliamentary constituency by-election on Nov 4 will be a nail-biting finish, according to PAS assemblyman Khalid Idham Lim.

“Now that everyone has named their candidate …if there is a competition, Galas will see the century’s tightest competition ever,” said Khalid who is Titi Serong assemblyman.

He said a loss for BN in Galas will confirm and quicken the party’s swift demise, even as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has declared a fight till the end for Umno.

Khalid was tweeting his thoughts on the way to Galas to support PAS candidate Dr Zulkefli Mohamed, a local medical practioner.

Yesterday, deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced Gua Musang Umno division secretary Abdul Aziz Yusuf, 49, as the BN candidate for the Galas by election.

The announcement appeared to come as a relief to PAS who apparently see themselves as an underdog going into the polls.

PAS’ Galas by-election machinery advisor Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah believes that ‘Umno’s hope now lies only with the Orang Asli community in Gua Musang who form the third largest electoral voters. Second comes the Chinese, who are already partial to PAS.

He said Umno is now fully dependent on the Orang Asli community to wrest the Galas seat from PAS as was obvious in the party’s move via BN to contain all Orang Asal settlement in the region.

Describing it as shameful, he said Umno was using the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA) to control almost all the villages in Gua Musang’s interior.

“It’s most shameful because before this the JHEAO only came once in a while to the settlements. Now they have planted themselves there, ” he said while accompanying Zulkefli to Hau Asli settlement, about 60km from Gua Musang.

‘War zone’

The PAS team also visited settlements in Galang, Gertas, Ladoi dan Eching.

Wan Abdul Rahim said almost 20 officers and personnel from JHEO have been on standby at the Hau settlement post. He said military trucks and army personnel were also visibly present.

“Their aim is probably to collect and carry out campaigns to win over the Orang Asli. This is insulting to the people here because before this an Orang Asal leader, Pandak Panjang, had appealed to all political parties not to turn their settlements into a war zone for the polls.

“But what we see here today is that every house has two flags, BN and Umno,” he said.

Wan Abdul Rahim said PAS’ visit to settlements was merely to introduce the candidate and inquire into the villagers’ wellbeing.

“We did not bring with us even one piece of flag or campaign flyers. This trip was only to introduce Dr Zulkefli to them. PAS is respectful of the Asli community leader’s wishes, ” he said.