Saturday, May 4, 2013

Red Wave Gives BN A Chance To Win In Kelantan

The Red Wave, which is generating strong support from the people of Kelantan, is seen as giving an opportunity to the Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest the state from PAS come polling day on Sunday.

This momentum of support is seen as better compared to the 2008 general election, with some observers feeling that the support is more than in 2004, whereby BN lost to PAS by only one out of 45 state seats.

BN obtained 22 seats compared to PAS with 23 seats in the 2004 general election.

The growing wave of support is a result of the public's awareness for change and development so there would be a stop to the problems unresolved by the PAS-led Kelantan government despite its 23 years of rule in the state.

These problems include shortage of affordable homes, supply of clean water, limited job opportunities, poor road conditions, insufficient and uncomfortable business space, as well as other issues daunting PAS leaders such as people's farm projects, alleged awarding of 4,000 hectares of land in Hulu Kelantan to DAP leaders and objections by residents that their lands are being taken by the state government to be given to foreign companies.

PAS, confident of defending their rule in Kelantan, has also disappointed its supporters following their conflicting stand on the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims.

The concept of 'tahaluf siyasi' (political consensus) between PAS and DAP backfired when they could not agree, especially on hudud law which the DAP is against while PAS, seen to bow down to DAP, said it hoped to implement hudud law should the opposition form the central government.

The pillar of the Kelantan BN's strength is unity and teamwork displayed by members and leaders in all 14 parliamentary constituencies and 45 state constituencies by carrying the BN 'Aku Janji' (manifesto) at the state and central level for complete transformation.

Political maturity among leaders, especially division chiefs who were not chosen but go down to the field to campaign for the victory of another candidate, especially a new face, shows there is no sabotage involved.

A political observer, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan legal adviser Prof Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek said BN fielded candidates who could put up a fight against PAS, especially candidates who had a solid religious background.

"BN is fielding candidates with religious background, those who returned from Al Azhar, Egypt, and this can change the perception of the Kelantan community who have labelled BN negatively so far.

"BN candidates almost have the same attributes as PAS candidates," said Abdul Halim, who is also a member of the National Professors Council.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's eight promises are the answer for the lack of development in Kelantan.

The people would most likely given BN mandate in the state to facilitate transactions between the state government and central government on administration, financial resources such as land which falls under the state government while the central government is more capable in terms of finances.

Proof that one of the eight promises have been fulfilled is the construction of 3,000 affordable housing units in Wakaf Mek Zainab, in Kota Baharu, while the seven other promises involve the Kuala Krai-Kota Baharu highway, a stadium, iconic state mosque, Rapid Kota Baharu transport system, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) city campus, solution for water supply problems and provision of land for eligible Kelantan residents.

The Prime Minister, when speaking at a function in Tumpat Thursday, again brought good news for the people when he announced several additional pledges which includes building the Palekbang Bridge which the PAS state government failed to execute in 1996.

The Palekbang Bridge, which links Kampung Cina in Kota Baharu with Kampung Palekbang in Tumpat, is the manifestation of the Kelantan PAS government's failure. The project of laying a foundation of the bridge which became an issue was done by Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

"Now we see the people want big changes and development which can be obtained by changing the state government, this change will happen automatically," said Abdul Halim.

Kelantan BN chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed targets that BN can win at least 23 of the 45 state seats to form the state government and eight of the 14 parliamentary seats.

Mustapa, whose name has been mentioned as the future Kelantan Menteri Besar, and recognised by the Prime Minister Thursday as the most eligible menteri besar candidate based on his clean image, vast experience as cabinet minister in several ministries and the international level.

This Sunday, the determining power lies in the hands of 918,573 voters in Kelantan, whether to enjoy change and development after the 13th general election under the BN government or to continue living in problems under the PAS government which has not been consistent in its stand on Islamic issues, despite being called a party which champions Islam.

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