KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) may have an edge if there are three-corner fights in 106 parliamentary seats but not without a stiff challenge from PAS.
The NST reported this, saying that several members of parliament agreed that hard work is needed to ensure victory for BN, despite not knowing who will be named candidates.
It quoted Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz as saying that Pas was a tough opponent and that the BN election machinery could not afford complacency.
He reasoned that it was due to strong loyalty of Pas supporters.
“We must work hard and not think that Pas is not a threat just because they are going solo without the (support of) other parties in Pakatan Harapan.
“Pas has loyal followers, who transcend generations,” the daily quoted him as saying.
Many quarters, he said, believed that three-cornered fights would favour BN, but that it should not be taken for granted by BN machinery.
“In the Rengas parliamentary seat, 75 per cent of voters are Malays, 20 per cent are Chinese and five per cent are Indians.
“The Chinese voters are likely to favour PKR as the party does not just represent Malays.
“So, there is a problem here, as the Chinese will vote for PKR, while Umno and Pas will compete for Malay votes.”
Nazri pointed out another factor of which despite there being 30,000 registered voters in the constituency, only about 70 per cent would cast their votes.
The daily also quoted Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman as saying that three-cornered fights would work in BN’s favour in Malay dominated areas.
“This is especially so in Terengganu. Looking at the situation now, I am confident that even in straight fights, we will win.
“If you look at what happened in Terengganu, BN lost 4-28 (to Pas) in 1999, but returned strongly to win 28-4 in 2004,” the menteri besar was reported as saying.
Pas Kuala Nerus MP Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the party was confident of winning back all its traditional power bases previously “loaned” to its friends in Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Alternatif.
He said it was a reality that Pas was the strongest among the opposition parties, right down to the grassroots.
“We have 196 divisions and election machinery in each parliamentary constituency.
“In Malay-majority seats, we are confident that the people will choose a party that is strongly Islamic.
“We will leave it to the people to evaluate and decide. Pas takes a mature approach and prudently criticises all government policies. It is up to the people.”