Kajang campaign heats up as polling nears


(The Malay Mail) – The campaign for the Kajang by-election is intensifying with candidates and campaigners from both sides of the political divide trying to cover every inch of the constituency before polling day yesterday.

Between the two candidates, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail appears to be campaigning more vigorously than Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

The PKR president has been at it day and night, meeting every group and level of people in an unofficial way.

Wan Azizah has no choice but to take to the campaign trail aggressively beginning Saturday — five days after nomination on Tuesday — given that the last five days were a “mistake” when she pledged to end the voters’ grouses about efficient garbage collection, traffic jams and other issues.

Apparently, many voters claimed that it was her party that was not fulfilling their responsibilities since the Selangor government was PKR-led, and she was just revealing the government’s weaknesses.

So beginning on Saturday, she changed her campaign line to address weaknesses in BN’s policies and claimed to be a victim of injustice when her husband was found guilty of a sodomy charge.

And to make sure voters get the message of the change in the campaign line, she and her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have to comb every inch of the state constituency so that none is left out.

The coffeeshop talk among the Malays who comprise 48 per cent of the voters, is about the need for the by-election which now sees Wan Azizah standing in for Anwar, who had earlier hoped to replace the incumbent Lee Chin Cheh.

They are still puzzled with the need for Anwar’s Kajang Move from the start. After winning Kajang, Anwar had hoped to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor mentri besar.

However, the 41 per cent Chinese voters who were said to have voted for the Opposition in the May 2013 general election and who are said to be still in the same position, seem to be enjoying the carnival-like campaign as thousands of campaigners flock to Kajang, giving them more business be it in the coffeeshops or retail outlets.

The assumption from many observers who witnessed the nightly ceramahs and daytime meet-the-people sessions was that BN stands a good chance of reducing the majority of 6,824 gained by PKR’s Lee  in the May 2013 general election by as much as one-third.

They feel the Malay voters doubt Anwar’s Kajang Move. They believe that the Malay voters might not go out to vote and if they do, they might just throw their support for BN.