Monday, December 8, 2008

Candidate Selection Dilemma For KT By-Election

1. On the Kuala Terengganu by-election situation, the EC has set the nomination date to be on 6th of January and the polling date to be on 17th January. Both sides will have the problem of selecting the best man to run for the vacant Parliamentary seat.

2.On the BN camp, the possible candidates are narrowed to two. One of them is Zaid Embong. Of course Zaid is a Terengganu man but the risk of using him for the by-election is that he is one of the old-generation regime of UMNO and chances of winning could be in jeopardy since a lot of voters there are those new-generation of voters and those born after Merdeka.

3. The other choice is obviously Abdullah Badawi's political secretary and deputy Home Minister Wan Farid Salleh. But most of us note him and his brother Wan Hisham of being one of the few notable cronies. His brother Wan Hisham plays an active part on Monsoon Cup, while he himself handles the state's wang ehsan contribution to federal government - 12 billion in 8 years. But if you remember the Batu Buruk - he is believed to be responsible for setting up the provocation event since he met the police two hours before the event started.

4. Between the two, Wan Farid is the BN's best choice for he can capture the attention of the voters particularly those born after Merdeka man. He is a new generation educated person so that will help to add to the credentials. Mat Sabu kept mentioning that he is the one that orders the police to go hard on opposition ceramahs, protests, etc..

5. The voters in Terengganu would prefer to have a candidate from Terengganu itself. IN this case, they would prefer to have a candidate from Kuala Terengganu. In the recent general election, Mat Sabu lost by a margin of 685 votes since the spoilt was won by the 85-year old lady. Many observers are sure that PAS man Mat Sabu will contest again but the catch is he is not from Terengganu but from Penang and this could cast some doubt on some voters on whether to vote for him. A poll conducted shows that Mat Sabu is the popular choice to contest that election again.

6. The next obvious choice for PAS candidate is Mustafa Ali. Chances could be good since he is also an assemblyman of a state seat that falls under the KT parliamentary seat. But the one problem for Mustafa is that the relationship of him with the PKR-DAP allies is not in a very good situation and this could pose a problem for the Pakatan Rakyat leadership. There is also a risk of having a loose-canon that is him.

7. The 1999-2004 MP Dr. Syed Azman, also from PAS is a possible choice but in terms of situation and criteria, he fits the bill. He is a doctor in profession, able to get in touch with the new generation and of course being knowledgable in terms of education and etc. Since he's also a Terengganu man, this would of course fit the voters criteria of having a local to be an MP.

8. There are also two other people in PAS that could be selected.

9. It would be better if both camps instead select an unknown quantum person as a candidate. Not only it provides good competition from bird's eye view, it also gets the notable people from both camps to campaign for the unknown candidate. Also, this would get the voters to assess analytically from nomination day until polling day to determine who would be the best man to win the by-election.

10. The 11% of voters in KT are Chinese and both camps are desperate to get them for their votes could swing the decision in favor either party though they form the minority group.

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