Straight fight in heated Tenang campaign

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

The Tenang by-election campaign begins with the Barisan Nasional (BN) focusing on Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) choice of a PAS candidate and the Islamic state bogey in a straight fight where the outcome could decide the date of the next national polls.

The Malaysian Insider understands that MCA is harping on Labis PAS Muslimat chief Normala Sudirman’s reluctance to greet non-Muslim voters. 

Returning officer Md Asri Amir announced at 11.20 that it will be a straight fight between Normala and Umno’s Azahar Ibrahim in the January 30 by-election after the objection period ended at 11am. Only both candidates filed their nomination papers in the first by-election in Johor since Election 2008.

BN is said to be seeking victory with a majority of at least 5,000 votes before it will call for a snap polls. 

The late Datuk Sulaiman Taha retained the Tenang state seat in the last general election after he defeated PAS’s Mohd Saim Siran by a majority of 2,492 votes. 

The Tenang by-election was called following the death of Sulaiman on December 17.  

The seat is situated within the Labis Parliamentary constituency, a stronghold of MCA president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek and currently represented by his son Chua Tee Yong. 

Another Labis state seat, Bekok, was also won BN’s Tan Kok Hong by a majority of 1,944 votes.