PETALING JAYA: Kemaman voters were advised today against burning the only bridge they have to the federal government when they cast their ballots at a by-election there on Dec 2.
Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Maslan said Kemaman voters must make the constituency a “bridge” that connects the PAS-run state to Putrajaya.
“Don’t burn down this bridge,” Ahmad was quoted as saying. “Take this opportunity, otherwise you will need to wait for the next general election,” said Ahmad, according to Berita Harian.
He said there was no benefit for voters in the parliamentary constituency to help PAS to retain a “40-0” score of a clean sweep by the Islamic party of the 32 state assembly and 8 parliamentary seats at recent elections.
Ahmad said that voters must be wise and not get caught up in the sentiment that the people of Terengganu wanted to retain the “duck’s egg” for Barisan Nasional.
“Even if Terengganu menteri besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar wins the Kemaman by-election, the constituency will remain under the opposition at the federal level,” he said.
He pointed out that the development of Kemaman had taken place when BN was in power. Kemaman has been represented in Parliament for 11 terms since 1959 by an Umno candidate, except for the 1999 and 2018 terms.
Samsuri, a PAS vice-president, is also the state assemblyman for Ru Rendang. He is the Perikatan Nasional candidate in Kemaman, where his rival from BN is retired general Raja Affandi Raja Noor, a former chief of defence forces.
The by-election was called after an election court nullified the victory of PN candidate Che Alias Hamid of PAS with a majority of 27,170 votes over his nearest rival, BN candidate Ahmad Said of Umno, and two others.
The court held that the distribution of government aid to the people during the election campaign constituted an act of election bribery.