Next 24 hours vital for Barisan

wan azizah vs mei fun AP

Foong Pek Yee, The Star

The next 24 hours, said a campaigner from Barisan Nasional, is crucial for its candidate’s winning chances.

It is, he said, not just about wooing more voters but also keeping whoever they have won over.

“Many people have made up their minds.

“What is most crucial is to avoid any last-minute big issue,” he said, adding that “whatever we can do, are already done”.

The worker from the MCA said the number of votes garnered tomorrow is equally important, whether the party wins or not.

Another political observer likened the election to being “as unpredictable as the weather”.

After almost a month of no rain, it started to pour on Wednesday, leading to flash floods in Kampung Bukit Angkat here.

“This can swing votes as well,” he said, adding that the impact of local problems, which have been plaguing the people in the last five years or more, cannot be underestimated in this election.

The spotlight may appear to be on the candidates – PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

But it is obvious that national issues are also under close scrutiny at the end of the day.

As expected, Pakatan went to town with topics, ranging from the rising cost of living, security, the judicial system to the missing MH370 plane.

They know how to bring in the crowd and fire their imagination. However, whether the numbers at the ceramah are translated into votes are yet to be seen.

At a Pakatan ceramah in Sg Chua New Village on Monday night, very few hands went up when a speaker asked, among the predominantly Chinese crowd, who the voters were.

Chinese voters, numbering about 15,000 – or some 40% of the 39,000 voters in the constituency – will determine the outcome of the polls.

A majority of them are from Sg Chua.

In the general election last year, Barisan, which fielded an MCA candidate, only managed to garner 18% support from the Chinese there. The coalition is targeting for 30% support tomorrow.

The target is not that far-fetched.

A staunch DAP supporter said the party is struggling to create the type of “emotional charge” – like what they managed to do in the general election last year – to bring in the votes.

Voter turnout is one of their top concerns, he added, pointing out that the previous turnout was 87% and they are not sure that they can maintain the figure.

PKR’s Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh, who beat the Barisan candidate with a 6,824-vote majority then, resigned in January and paved the way for the by-election.

“A big voter turnout is important for us.

“We have a high chance of winning but we are not sure of the majority,” he said, adding that the emotional charge on the ground this time is unlike that in the last general election.

“People can get tired at times,” he added.

Political fatigue has naturally set in for the candidates and their supporters after almost a month of going to the ground under the hot spell and, at times, amidst the haze.

Both sides are looking forward to tomorrow, irrespective of their winning chances.