KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 – Acting UMNO Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not dismiss the possibility that there will be a multi-cornered fight in both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections next month. Ahmad Zahid, who is Deputy Prime Minister, said it followed PAS’ decision to field its candidates at both by-elections, even if PKR also decided to do so.
“We (BN) respect PAS’ decision to field their candidates and not to compromise or withdraw from contesting with candidates from other parties,” he told reporters after opening the ‘Rapat Alumni Nusantara & Jaringan Alumni Nusantara’ Conference at International Islamic University Malaysia here today.
“Despite having won the two seats in the last general election, BN would move as an underdog and would continue to intensify efforts and campaigns to retain the seats. Although BN won the two seats (in the last general election), it was only with 349-vote majority in Sungai Besar and 1,082-vote majority in Kuala Kangsar. So, I would like to remind myself and the whole BN election machinery to double up our efforts,” he said.
Furthermore, Ahmad Zahid said BN could no longer depend on conventional campaigning methods for the upcoming by-elections, but instead had to make optimum use of social media to gain support from the voters. He said this was because the Sungai Besar constituency had 40 per cent of young voters, while the majority of voters in Kuala Kangsar were living in urban areas. He said, of course conventional media or face-to-face communication needs to be modified with the use of social media.
The parliamentary seats of Sungai Besar in Selangor, and Kuala Kangsar in Perak, fell vacant following the death of incumbents, Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, in a helicopter crash in Sebuyau, Sarawak, on May 5. The Election Commission had announced that the by-elections would be held simultaneously on June 18, while the nomination day on June 5.