Monday, June 06, 2016

'Will Budiman Have Upper Hand In 3-Cornered Fight?', Bernama, 5 June 2016

SUNGAI BESAR: The fiery three-cornered fight involving Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and PAS in the Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election on June 18, appears more in favour of BN candidate, Budiman Mohd Zohdi.
Budiman's strengths lie in his position as Sungai Panjang assemblyman in the parliamentary constituency; a young leader of local origin who enjoyed a close working relationship with the incumbent, the late Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon; and, having streetwise skills at his disposal in the area.
According to Universiti Utara Malaysia College of Law, Government & International Studies senior lecturer, Prof Madya Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, the three-cornered fight not only gave BN the upper hand in defending the parliamentary seat, but also the possibility of adding onto the majority polls.
"Budiman is always available in his constituency and ready to serve society, thus, making him have the potential in attracting support from all.
"Meanwhile, other candidates like PAS, are not locals in the area, whereas Amanah has internal problems (involving its relationship with PAS). Although Amanah has placed a local candidate, the person is not well-known among the locals, giving advantage to Budiman," he told Bernama.
In the by-election, Budiman will face PAS contender, Meru assemblyman Dr Abdul Rani Osman while Amanah has put forth Sungai Besar Amanah chairman, Azhar Abdul Shukur.
Mohd Azizuddin, however, said BN's candidate had the potential to win the by-election, so long as there was no sabotage from those not chosen as the candidate.
Besides that, he said the increase in the number of outside voters returning home to the constituency was also worrisome as they might affect, albeit slightly, BN's chances of winning the by-election.
"Outside voters rarely return to vote, but if they do, they may cause slight trouble as they do not really know Budiman ... but I expect not all will return, and if they don't, then there is a bigger chance for Budiman to win, with even an increase in majority by about 1,000 votes," he said.
Mohd Azizuddin said attention must be given to the increase of new voters, although the chances of winning the by-election was seen more in the hands of Budiman due to the age factor.
Universiti Sains Malaysia School of Social Sciences political analyst, Prof Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian agreed with Mohd Azizuddin's views that this three-cornered fight would give more advantage to BN, especially as Budiman was more well-versed with the locality of the area and was capable of ensuring the party machinery stood strong beside him.
"As for Azhar, he may give competition in terms of being a representative of Pakatan Harapan, but based on the current issues within the Selangor Government, there is a slight probability the party will be affected unless they were each able to put aside their differences for the benefit of this by-election.
"Meanwhile, the PAS candidate, although a Meru assemblyman, is considered an outsider. However, his position as Selangor PAS ex-commissioner may be used to aid his machinery. Anyhow, if we observe on background, it gives an advantage to BN," he said.
Sivamurugan said the BN machinery needed to also ensure that not only the party members and faithful BN supporters voted, it should convince voters who were undecided that Budiman was the best choice.
Universiti Teknologi Mara Faculty of Communication and Media Studies lecturer, Prof Darussalam Abu Bakar said BN was expected to maintain its domination of the parliamentary seat as a result of the 'stubbornness' of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, in fielding a candidate there.
He said based on his observation, there were those from PAS who were 'unhappy' with the decision of the party leadership since the relationship between PAS and Amanah in Sungai Besar were close.
"I got to know of the possibility that BN may win as the PAS people may not come out to vote on the grounds that they are unhappy with PAS' decision to field a candidate as although PAS and Amanah (Sungai Besar) are close with one another, Abdul Hadi still wants to field a candidate.
"However, if an Amanah candidate is placed there, the PAS in the locality will vote for Amanah, which is an odd situation as at the leadership level, they are at each other's throats but at the grassroots level, they go well together," he added.
The Sungai Besar by-election is held following the death of Noriah in a helicopter crash in Sebuyau, Sarawak, on May 5.
In the 13th General Election, Noriah defeated her contender from PAS, Mohamed Salleh M. Hussin with a majority of 399 votes.
— Bernama

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