Merlimau is not Tenang or Galas, says PAS candidate

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

JASIN, Feb 27 — PAS candidate Yuhaizat Abdullah said today that his party’s performance in the recent Tenang and Galas by-election should not be used as a yardstick in Merlimau.

He said that he was confident that the seat’s Malay community will support his candidacy and blamed Barisan Nasional’s (BN) vast resources for his party’s poor performance in the recent elections.

“If we look at the defeats in Galas and Tenang, we are facing BN in a football field but are given direction to kick only with our left foot.

“Umno, however, can kick with their right and left foot. In an unequal playing field I feel that many things can happen,” the 38-year-old business man told The Malaysian Insider.

During the Tenang by-election, more than half of BN’s 1,200-vote gain over PAS was due to increased Malay support in the constituency and the ruling coalition was also able to wrestle the Galas state seat in Kelantan from PAS.

The Malays who had voted against Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s stewardship of BN or abstained from the general election in 2008, came out to signal their support for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration.

The Merlimau-born leader seemed out of his depth as PAS’s Melaka deputy commissioner Adly Zahari had to regularly interrupt and guide the candidate during the interview.

Yuhaizat admitted that it would be hard but not impossible for PAS to capture the seat.

“We have seen Pakatan Rakyat’s success during the general election in 2008 by reducing voting margins in Merliamau. Even though it is hard, it is not impossible for us to create history to reduce further the margin and hopefully win,” he said with Adly listening intently.

Yuhaizat was also confident that the Chinese community would follow the trend in recent by-elections and support PAS instead of BN.

“We will meet and be together with the Chinese community in the whole of Merliamu which I feel is a good approach to b closer to the community.

“I am confident that the Tiong-hua people won’t feel awkward in giving me their confidence in the by-election,” he said.

PAS will be banking on Chinese voters to help close the voting margins as the community makes more than 20 per cent of Merlimau’s electorate.

The seat’s electoral roll has 10, 679 votes, with 6,935 Malay voters, 2,218 Chinese voters and 1,510 Indians voters, while the other races make up the remaining 16 voters.