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Positive and negative campaigning

BOTH Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional (BN) have taken different approaches with their ceramahs in Kuala Terengganu’s by-election.

Those on PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut’s campaign team repeatedly raise topics like the perceived abuses of power by BN and the issue of oil royalty. Among these supporters are blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Abdul Wahid and his team of supporters have also been playing the “muhibbah” card, peppering their ceramahs with Chinese and Tamil language phrases. They note that Kuala Terengganu is a peaceful place where different ethnic communities get along. In Wahid Endut’s case, he has gone out of the way to connect with his Chinese Malaysian audience, mentioning relatives from Hong Kong and wearing red clothes, for good luck apparently.

In contrast, ceramahs by Umno members Ezam Mohd Nor and Hamdan Taha did not focus on their candidate, Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

Instead, Ezam brought up two allegations against PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. First, that Anwar tried to reconcile with former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after being sacked, and second, that Anwar has not disclosed his possession of six boxes containing secret documents detailing bribery transactions in BN and Umno.

Hamdan Taha claimed Kuala Terengganu was peaceful until Pakatan Rakyat came along. He also warningly dropped references about the likelihood of DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang becoming deputy prime minister of Malaysia, should Anwar become prime minister.

The 17 Jan by-election in Kuala Terengganu will be a three-way fight involving Abdul Wahid, Wan Ahmad Farid and independent candidate Azharudin [email protected]


Danny Lim is a freelance journalist and photographer.

See also:
Reckoning with the electorate
Assessing Chinese Malaysian support
KT’s decorative touch
Surviving perception
Wahid’s likeability factor
Getting the message across in KT
Politicising Islam in KT
KT’s odd man out
Contrasting campaign styles in KT

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