KUALA BESUT, July 11 (Bernama) -- Residents in Kuala Besut are hoping that campaigning by political parties in the by-election for the Kuala Besut State Legislative Assembly seat will be held modestly especially out of respect for the Ramadan fasting month.
According to the local residents approached by Bernama, even without 'extreme' campaigning the voters would still choose the candidate who would be courteous and 'mind his language' when addressing the constituents during the ceramah.
A retail shop operator in Kuala Besut town, Wee Shin Ai @ Wee Ew Hwa, 60, said people were now smart in making an evaluation and had more respect for 'mature' candidates who refrained from making personal attacks and who would inform them about the transformation agenda if they were elected in the poll.
"(There's) no need to talk a lot, just find out what the people want. There is no commercial bank here, thus we have to travel further to Jerteh for banking transactions every month, especially for those running a business," he said.
Wee said the absence of a commercial bank must be resolved as Kuala Besut formed the entry point to the famous tourist destination, Pulau Perhentian, which made it difficult for tourists, including from abroad, to withdraw cash.
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Moderation in campaigning is also supported by tourist guide, Azwee Pin, 37, who hoped that the small town would not be flooded with too many outsiders beginning on nomination day on Friday until polling day, because the influx of people could lead to traffic jams.
According to the native of Kampung Gertak Seratus, here, the number of foreign tourists coming here this month would be high, especially those from Europe who would be vacationing during the summer months.
"The roads here are narrow. If too many people come to help in the campaign, we will have problems taking tourists from Kota Baharu (Kelantan) for the boat trip to Pulau Perhentian because the journey which usually takes an hour can now take a longer time," he said.
The by-election for the Kuala Besut state seat is being held following the death of the incumbent, Dr A Rahman Mokhtar, 64, due to lung cancer on June 26. The Election Commission (EC) has fixed Friday as the nomination day while polling will be on July 24.
Barisan Nasional (BN) has announced a local-born civil engineer with the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman, as its candidate to retain Kuala Besut state seat while PAS has named Endot@Azlan Yusof, a contractor, as its candidate.
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Meanwhile, young voter Tuan Nur Shafikah Alia Tuan Nor, 22, from Kampung Nail, here hoped that party supporters, especially outsiders, would not resort to excessive campaigning to the extent that the culture of the East Coast people was ignored.
She said that the candidates should also be smart in controlling their supporters and the ability to maintain control would be the 'deciding point' for the electorate to make their choice on July 24.
As for a general worker with Jeti Kuala Besut, Suhaibah Muda, 45, she hoped the first by-election since the 13th general election would be carried out in moderation in terms of funding and that the surau or mosques would not be used as a campaign medium.
"No need for massive campaigning to the extent of placing too many flags at every corner of the road. This is not good as it is better to be frugal so that the money can be used to help the poor especially in view of the approaching Hari Raya," she said.
Suhaibah, who hails from Kampung Alor Teratai here, also hoped that the candidates would not be 'people friendly' only during campaigning but should instead place priority on the problems of the electorate after winning.
"We are living in a village, and still want progress for the young generation. That's why it's necessary to have an elected representative who is accessible. Even with a small campaign, the Kuala Besut electorate will definitely support the candidate who can win their hearts," she added.
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