KERTIH, 2 Dec 2008: The Barisan Nasional (BN) is confident of retaining the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat in a coming by-election as it won the seat in the last general election, said BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The prime minister said there was no reason for BN not to be able to retain the seat as its election machinery was all geared up to face the by-election.
“We have won this place and I don’t see why we cannot win it again,” he told reporters after launching the Kertih Plastics Cluster Industry today.
Also present were Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Merican.
The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat became vacant following the death of its member of parliament and Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail while playing badminton at Institut Aminuddin Baki, Genting Highlands, on 28 Nov.
In the 12th general election held in March, Razali, the BN candidate, obtained 32,562 votes, defeating PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu (31,562 votes) and independent candidate Maimun Yusof (685).
On some quarters expecting BN to face a stiff fight from the opposition in the coming by-election, Abdullah said BN had its own strengths to face the situation.
He believed that Umno and BN would get enough votes to retain the seat.
On the BN candidate for the by-election, Abdullah said he had not received any proposal and was waiting for the list of names from the Umno State Liaison Committee.
Asked whether BN was getting increasing support from the people in facing the by-election, Abdullah said he was not so sure about that.
“In some places, we are doing better while in some places we are not that good,” he said.
In KUALA LUMPUR, PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Md Isa confirmed that the party would be contesting in the by-election for the Kuala Terengganu seat.
Nasaruddin said the selection of the candidate would go through the normal process with the list of names proposed by the branches submitted to the division for perusal before it was submitted to the PAS Central Syura Committee.
Speaking to reporters at the parliament lobby today, he said the final decision on the candidate was expected to be made at the meeting of this committee on 21 Dec.
Asked whether PAS would again field Mohamad Sabu for the parliamentary seat, Nasaruddin said it would depend on the party grassroots’ wish.
However, he said, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, one of PAS’ partners in the Pakatan Rakyat, had stated its support for the candidate fielded by PAS for the by-election. — Bernama