BN upbeat as polling in Tanjung Piai gathers pace

Najib Razak during his visit to the polling centre at SMK Dato Mohd Yunos Sulaiman in Pekan Nanas today.

PEKAN NANAS: Tonight is going to be a good night. That is the message that seems to be reverberating from Barisan Nasional supporters as voting picked up steam in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.

Adding to the feel good factor was the arrival of former prime minister Najib Razak this morning, hours after campaigning came to a stop at midnight.

Najib, who was accompanied by Johor BN chairman Hasni Mohammad, was greeted on arrival near the polling centre at SMK Dato Mohd Yunos Sulaiman here with shouts of “Tolak PH” by BN supporters.

He spent about 30 minutes with the party supporters about 100m from the polling centre.

Pontian MP and former deputy minister Ahmad Maslan was also present.

Najib, who is the BN advisory board chairman, had actively campaigned for BN’s Wee Jeck Seng in Tanjung Piai for the past two weeks despite being involved in the 1MDB and SRC International corruption trials.

He spoke at BN’s ceramah at Penerok last night along with Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and Ahmad.

Pakatan Harapan opponents pointed to the absence of component party “bigwigs” today following Wednesday’s “mega” ceramah involving Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin was present but PKR president Anwar Ibrahim was reported to be in Kedah, while DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is in Sweden.

Research firm Ilham Centre published a survey on Thursday that showed a swing of Chinese support to BN ahead of polling day.

The centre said its poll of 394 voters representing different races, gender, age and localities pointed to a comfortable victory for Wee.

It said it is a reflection of the strong grassroots support for Umno in Johor despite losing the state in the last general election.

At noon today, the Election Commission said the voter turnout was 43%.