PD campaign heats up as Anwar seeks to avoid ’embarrassing’ win

Pakatan Harapan supporters are preparing for tomorrow’s visit by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to help Anwar’s campaign in Port Dickson.

PORT DICKSON: The campaign for the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election has intensified as it enters the second week, ahead of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit tomorrow to campaign for Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Anwar Ibrahim.

It will be the first time Mahathir and Anwar share a campaign stage in 20 years.

“If he comes, this will be the first time I will be sharing a stage with him after 20 years and we will bring down the thunder in Port Dickson,” Anwar said at a ceramah in Kampung Nelayan Telok Kemang yesterday.

Anwar is seen to have the advantage. He has been attending seven to 10 programmes daily.

Anwar Ibrahim in a campaign walkabout in Port Dickson. (Bernama pic)

He has met different communities, including a visit to a Sikh temple, attending a Chinese lantern festival, giving a religious talk in a mosque, and dancing at a cultural event organised by the Indian community.

His day begins at 8am either with a breakfast event with locals, or going on a walkabout at public places around the town centre or nearby areas.

In the afternoon, he holds meet-and-greet programmes with the locals, followed by ceramahs in the evening which usually end around midnight.

He has been telling the people to come out and vote on Oct 13 to ensure he gets a big majority.

PAS candidate Mohd Nazari Mokhtar, among the more aggressive candidates in Port Dickson.

“In any election, you can even win by one vote, but for me to win with a small majority, it will be quite embarrassing. Many will have a lot to criticise me,” he said during his campaign in Kampung Baharu here recently.

Meanwhile, the other six candidates, who kicked off their campaigns much later than Anwar, have also been busy, especially independent candidate Isa Samad and PAS’ Mohd Nazari Mokhtar.

However, four other independent candidates, namely Anwar’s former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, social media personality Stevie Chan, management consultant Kan Chee Yuen and former lecturer Lau Seck Yan seemed to only engage themselves in limited campaign programmes.

“We don’t have money to organise a programme or a public talk, so we just go to the ground to meet with the voters,” said Stevie Chan.

Isa Samad prefers to do house visits, saying the campaign method is more effective.

Isa, on the other hand, opted for house-to-house visits which he described as more effective, especially after having held the Bagan Pinang Umno division chief post and Negeri Sembilan menteri besar’s post for 22 years.

Meanwhile, Saiful launched a fundraising campaign to seek public donations to help him get through the campaign period. He has raised RM2,500 so far.

Lau, the sole female candidate who is using the rabbit logo, and Kan who is using the pen logo, are not carrying out aggressive campaigns.

The Port Dickson seat was left vacant after Danyal Balagopal Abdullah resigned as its MP on Sept 12, to make way for Anwar to contest and return to Parliament.

Danyal won the seat with a 17,710-vote majority, defeating VS Mogan of BN and Mahfuz Roslan from PAS.

Port Dickson has 75,770 registered voters, 43% of whom are Malays, Chinese (33%), Indians (22%) and others (2%).