KUALA BESUT, July 16 (Bernama) -- The spirit of Ramadan has led both Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS to adopt a moderate and wise approach in their campaign, which has entered the fifth day, to ensure victory for their respective candidates for the Kuala Besut state by-election.
Unlike the normal by-election campaign, BN and PAS are also seen to have not given much focus on organising gala events and ceramah, with their top leaders as baits, to lure attendees this time around.
The vow made by BN candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman and his opponent from PAS, Endot@Azlan Yusof, not to launch personal attack but to handle the campaign wisely, has indeed helped create a calm environment in the constituency, except for the one flag-burning incident in Kampung Lampu.
While describing a personal attack on the opponent as unnecessary and a waste of time, Tengku Zaihan was also reported as saying:
"We don't want and will not launch a personal attack."
True to their words, both candidates appeared to be more focused on meeting the voters face to face, whether in mosque, surau or at breaking of fast, Tarawih prayer and moreh events.
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This approach has also prevented them from making any statements and allegations against each other and their parties.
Although there are issues that can be exploited by the two candidates, they were more keen on talking about their future plans with the residents and voters in Kuala Besut.
Among the 'issues' concerning Tengku Zaihan is that he is not a Kuala Besut residents, while Azlan is said to have not obtained higher education.
The issues may seem petty to some, but if used as a campaign material, many opined that it will definitely turn up the heat ahead of the polling day scheduled for July 24.
Geographically, Kuala Besut is not that big, but as the by-election has been called during the fasting month of Ramadan, the challenges faced by the candidates to meet with the voters at eight polling district centres, including having to sail to Pulau Perhentian, are indeed tough.
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Nevertheless, the fasting month has also given Tengku Zaihan and Azlan the opportunity to meet with the people at the Ramadan bazaar.
The by-election atmosphere is also felt with the flag and poster wars across the constituency.
Following the flag-burning incident in Kampung Lampu, Besut police chief Supt Kamaruddin Mohd Zakaria has advised party supporters to be professional and wise in carrying out their campaign.
The supporters have also been reminded not to provoke their opponents and to adhere to the rules and regulations stipulated under the Elections Act 1954.
Kuala Besut has 22,986 residents, 17,683 of whom are registered voters, with Malays make up the majority.
The by-election has been necessitated by the death of assemblyman Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar of the BN of lung cancer on June 26.
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