PAN admits struggling for recognition in Sungai Besar

azhar shukur

(MMO) – Fewer than one in 10 Sungai Besar voters knew of Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) a week ago, communications director Khalid Samad has revealed.

In a sign of the monumental task for the party bidding to win the Sungai Besar by-election, Khalid’s numbers also showed that the situation has only improved marginally with just over a week left to polling on June 18.

“Initial survey showed only eight per cent of the people here knew who we were, but the number has since increased to 20 per cent,” he said yesterday.

A survey by Malay Mail Online found that almost half of the 20 people interviewed in DAP strongholds within the federal constituency did not know Amanah candidate Azhar Shukur (pic) and his party.

Some even mistook Azhar as an independent candidate while several others thought PAS still represented Pakatan Harapan in the by-election.

Despite the findings, Khalid said he was confident his party would be able to close the gap in recognition and reach all the voters in the Selangor federal constituency.

He also pointed out that Sungai Besar and the concurrent by-election in Kuala Kangsar were Amanah’s electoral debuts.

Khalid said Amanah’s target was to secure about 62 per cent of the Chinese votes and 32 per cent of the Malay votes this time. In Election 2013, PAS took 38 per cent Malay and 76 per cent of the Chinese votes.

“We are hoping for the best as one of the purpose of Amanah contesting here is to introduce the party to the people.

“So, ‘insha’allah’, if we achieve our target, it will be a slim win for us,” Khalid said.

The Sungai Besar electorate comprises about 67 per cent Malays, about 31 per cent Chinese and about 2 per cent Indians.

In the last general elections, less than 10 per cent of the Chinese votes went to Barisan Nasional (BN), with the ruling coalition winning by only 399 votes majority for the constituency.

Azhar takes on BN’s Budiman Mohd Zohdi and PAS’s Dr Abdul Rani Osman in the June 18 poll.