20/03/2004

Cool opposition reception good news for BN

Cool opposition reception good news for BN

KUANTAN March 19 - The cool reception by Kuala Krau parliamentary constituents towards opposition talks and gatherings bodes well for the Barisan Nasional (BN) this general election.

Strengthened by the good record of former BN Member of Parliament Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, the national coalition is not expected to face a major battle to retain the seat.

A Bernama check on the six days of campaigns so far found the response of the electorate for the oppositon poor, forcing them to go house to house, targetting the Chinese community and the Orang Asli.

The BN has fielded Kuala Krau UMNO Youth pro tem head Ismail Mohamed Said, 38, to defend the seat (previously known as Mentakab parliamentary constituency) against challenger Musaniff Ab Rahman from Pas.

Ismail, a local who has a legal firm in Temerloh, is slated to record a victory for the BN based on his approachable and friendly personality which has gone down well with voters.

When met by Bernama recently, Ismail pledged to solve the woes of the people and to bring more development to local villages if elected.

"This is the trust placed by the people and it is a huge responsibility. It cannot be ignored as that is tantamount to abusing the trust of the rakyat," he said.

In the 1995 General Election, Fu defeated his opponent with a majority of 12,825 votes while in 1999, he garnered a majority 6,524 votes.

According to the Election Commission electoral roll, the constiuency has 31,404 voters comprising 7,749 in the Jenderak State constituency, 8,027 in Kerdau and 15,628 in Jengka.

The make-up of voters is 88.04 percent Malays, 4.34 percent Chinese, 1.04 percent Indians and 0.5 percent others.

The fight for the Jengka State seat, however, currently held by Pas' Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, is expected to be stiff with the BN fielding Tuan Ibrahim's protege, Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, a former lecturer with Universiti Teknologi Mara, Jengka.

In 1999, Tuan Ibrahim beat BN's Datuk Zainal Hasan with a 319-vote majority.

Jenderak State incumbent Datuk Mohamed Jaafar (BN), who successfully defended the seat in 1999 against Pas' Ahmad Nafiri Md Toazi with 1,975 votes, will be challenged by Pas' Abu Samah Ali.

For the new Kerdau State seat, there will be a straight fight between Pas' Dr Abu Bakar Mohamed and BN's Redzwan Harun.