By-election in RMCO gives BN added advantages – analyst

By , in Politics on .

PEKAN, June 27 — The Chini state seat by-election campaign period entered its eighth day today and Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mohd Sharim Md Zain is seen to be leading his two other contenders, independents Tengku Datuk Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli.

However, with only several remaining days of the campaigning period, all candidates are expected to intensify their activities to win as much of voters’ support as possible.

Although this election campaign is set in the new normal practices, Mohd Sharim 41, is currently seen as leading, not only in terms of campaign activities but also in acceptance of the voters at the Felda Chini settlement, traditional villages and Orang Asli villages.

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From the get-go, Mohd Sharim, a local boy and Felda Chini’s second generation, is seen to have added advantages, coupled with the fact that Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not field any candidate in the by-election.

Undoubtedly, independent candidates, without the backing of any political parties, could not possibly raise big issues such as water and electricity issues on behalf of Felda settlers and Orang Asli community, as well as matters related to the second generation of Felda.

Political analyst Md Shukri Shuib is of the view that having by-election during the enforcement of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) has given BN certain advantages being a part of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government after it has successfully stabilised the country’s political uncertainties as well as the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy.

“Imagine if the people are suffering during the Movement Control Order (MCO), the opposition could manipulate and take advantage of the situation.

“When we look at the Chini by-election which, so far, is calm and smooth, this is the first signal of the people’s acceptance of the government’s administration,” he told Bernama.

If the BN wins the Chini by-election, it can serve as an indicator for the PN government to gauge the level of satisfaction of the people as well as to determine the success of the next general elections, he said.

Another political analyst, Dr Ainul Adzellie Hasnul said that the BN as one of the components of the PN should double its efforts to help strengthen the new government, which had been formed since March, by winning the Chini state seat by-election.

“This (by-election) is not only creates a history as it is set amid the new normal but it is also the ‘first test’ for the PN government, as well as the continuation of the Muafakat Nasional between UMNO and PAS, which started in the wake of the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election.

“I would say that in reality PN’s move starts in Chini,”.

He said based on his observation, voters in the Chini state constituency are still in favour of the BN and there should be no problem to increase the majority this time around.

“As BN is part of the government, its candidate has many advantages that make them look more promising than other candidates, plus he is a local guy and knows the intricacies of the area and local issues,” he said.

Mohd Sharim will face two independent candidates – Tengku Zainul Hisham, 64, and Mohd Shukri, 49, – whose campaign efforts thus far are seen as ‘low profile’, on polling day which has been set on July 4.

Based on the electoral roll, the Chini state seat comprises 20,990 registered voters, including 18 early voters, and the constituency has been the BN stronghold since the 11th General Election in 2004 through its incumbent Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun who died of a heart attack on May 7.

BERNAMA

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