Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pahang Is Still BN's Fortress

The crisis in the Pahang Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is becoming an obstacle for the Pakatan Rakyat in achieving its desire to capture Pahang in the May 5 general election.

With Barisan Nasional (BN) now more confident of being returned to power in the state, regarded by BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the coalition's stronghold, PKR's ally, PAS, seems to be in a lurch.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who attended a people's gathering in Pahang Thursday, expressed his confidence of BN winning the state again.

Several political analysts also did not see any problem for BN to remain in power in Pahang and also to retain the 12 parliamentary seats they won in 2008.

Pahang UMNO veteran, Datuk Faisal Abdullah, said BN was also capable of wresting back the Kuantan and Indera Mahkota seats which were won by PKR in the 2008 general election.

"Looking at what happened in the DAP-PKR-PAS pact, the people realise that only BN is capable of ensuring continuous development, peace and harmony in the country," he added.

The crisis in Pahang PKR is said to be more serious with more of its members quitting the party, and a few are contesting as Independent candidates, to protest against the party's nomination of candidates in the coming general election.

This included the nomination of Manolan Mohamad, 43, as the party candidate for Kemayan state seat.

Manolan, from Lipis, is said to be a newcomer in PKR.

In Chini, Sunah Omar, 61, who is the mother of PKR candidate for the state seat, Sitarunishah Ab Kadir, was said to have called for a media conference on April 28 to protest her daughter's candidacy.

Former Pahang PKR vice-chairman G. Ponusamy, is standing as an Independent candidate against state PKR chairman Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman for the Indera Mahkota parliamentary seat. BN has fielded Wan Adnan Wan Mamat for the seat.

The crisis within PKR is also seen as giving BN a better chance of wresting the Kuantan parliamentary seat, with the Prime Minister's political secretary, Datuk Mohamed Suffian Awang, being fielded against incumbent Fuziah Salleh, of PKR.

Former Kuantan PKR vice-chief, Mohd Romagan Mat Rom, claimed that more than 50 per cent of the Malay PKR supporters in Kuantan were not in favour of Fuziah's candidacy for the seat.

"Fuziah is now relying on the non-Malay voters," he added.

Meanwhile the BN candidates are confident of getting support from the Chinese community.

Incumbent Teruntum Assemblyman, BN's Datuk Chang Hong Seong, who is defending the seat, said the Chinese community wanted continuity in the country's transformation and believed they would support BN.

BN is contesting in all the 14 parliamentary and 42 state seats in Pahang.

PAS is fielding candidates in six of the parliamentary seats, PKR (five seats), Independent (six) and BERJASA (one).

For the state seats, PAS is contesting in 21 constituencies, DAP (seven), PKR (14), BERJASA (one) and Independent (10).

Najib, who is incumbent Pekan Member of Parliament, is defending the seat against PKR's Fariz Musa.

In the 2008 general election, BN won 12 parliamentary seats and 37 state seats.

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