Kuala Terengganu by-election(1)
Posted January 2, 2009on:
|PAS fields surprise candidate|
|Jan 1, 09 11:12pm|
|PAS tonight named Wakaf Mempelam state assemblyperson Abdul Wahid Endut as the party’s candidate to contest the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election.
The announcement by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang at 11pm during a rally in Kuala Terengganu stadium came 11 days after rival Umno picked Deputy Home Minister Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh to vie for the parliamentary seat.
Abdul Wahid is a surprise candidate as there were strong speculations that the party would be fielding one of their big guns – popular Batu Burok state assemblyperson Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi or either one of the two PAS veterans, Mustafa Ali and Wan Abdul Mutalib Embong.
The chosen PAS candidate however is not quite a greenhorn as he has been a politician for 16 years and is currently the Terengganu PAS treasurer.
Abdul Wahid, a Universiti Pertanian Malaysia fisheries and marine science graduate, has served as state entrepreneur development, consumer, youth and small medium enterprises committee chairman when PAS ruled Terengganu between 1999 and 2004.Wakaf Mempelam is one of the four state seats under the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary constitutency (see chart).
Abdul Wahid, a five-term state representative, has retained the seat with a comfortable margin of 2,193 in the March general elections.
Top contestants to face a few independents
Meanwhile, Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia, a PAS splinter party, had picked Haron Abdul Rahman Mohamad as their candidate.
The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat fell vacant following the sudden death of Razali after suffering a heart attack on Nov 28.
In the March 8 general elections, Razali narrowly defeated PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu by 628 votes. An 85 year-old grandmother, Maimun Yusuf, who ran as an independent and widely seen as a spoiler, polled 685.
According to the Election Commission, there will be 80,229 registered voters, including 1,035 postal votes. The latest figure is slightly lower than the 80,325 voters recorded in March.
Abdul Hadi has earlier reminded PAS members through the party’s Kuala Terengganu by-election website to be steadfast in campaigning in the polls.
“The challenge facing us is enormous as we are not only facing BN and Umno but also the Terengganu government and federal government election machinery.
“Do not think that because this is a by-election, it is therefore a minor contest. It is a big contest for the party’s struggle to uplift Islam. If you help Allah’s religion, Allah will reward you.”
He reminded party workers to be sincere when helping in the election campaign as the winning candidate will represent the voters of Kuala Terengganu in the Parliament.
Nomination for the by-election is next Tuesday while polling day is on the Jan 17 after a 11-day campaigning period.