PERMATANG PAUH, April 14 – It is not impossible for Barisan Nasional to wrest Permatang Pauh from PKR as it had previously snatched Teluk Intan from the opposition last year. Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who is also the Teluk Intan lawmaker, said despite the ruling coalition winning the constituency in Perak with a slim majority, BN could perform better in Permatang Pauh.
Mah was elected as the Teluk Intan representative in 2014, beating DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud by a 238-vote majority. He obtained 20,157 votes compared to Dyana Sofya who garnered 19,919 votes. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told Permatang Pauh residents to give BN a chance to serve them. Gerakan, he said, has mobilised its 3,000 members and leaders from Permatang Pauh to help the by-election machinery here.
The members, Mah explained, will go to the ground to meet with the rakyat to explain issues that were confusing them. “We are confident that Barisan’s performance in Permatang Pauh will be much better this time around compared to the previous 13th General Election results in 2012. “Previously, Barisan had only lost by 11,721 votes to PKR and I’m sure with the high spirits it is not impossible for Barisan to wrest back the seat from PKR,” Mah told a press conference after visiting the Wat Rajaphojong Thai Buddhist Temple in Jalan Ara Kuda, Teluk Wang here today.
He said Gerakan will support the candidate picked by Barisan Nasional. “We’re not sure who PKR will field as candidate but if they still choose to put Wan Azizah here, then I wonder how she is going to serve both Kajang and Permatang Pauh at the same time,” he said, alluding to PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Wan Azizah, who is the wife to jailed Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the Kajang assemblyman. The Permatang Pauh by-election was called after Anwar, its incumbent, was jailed for five years for sodomising his former aide in 2008.