Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dr Zulkefli hopes for a repeat of 2008 miracle

Dr Zulkefli: I am not under any pressure. I have experience contesting in elections before.

GUA MUSANG, Oct 26 — PAS’s Galas by-election candidate Dr Zulkefli Mohamed is banking on a repeat of the “shock” Election 2008 victory to propel him to a win on November 4.

Loser in the last two Gua Musang parliamentary contests in which the now-contested state seat’s located, Dr Zulkefli today described the 646 votes majority Galas win in 2008 and the party's reaction.

“We did not expect to win then. Even the party was shocked,” said the Gua Musang PAS acting chief.

Dr Zulkefli who lost by 4,394 votes to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, did manage to win most of the Galas votes.

Two other state seats in Gua Musang — Nenggiri and Paloh — were won by BN with majorities of 2,090 and 2,833 votes respectively.

“Che Hashim Sulaima was known to the people. He used to buy rattan from the Orang Asli, he used to do business here, so it helped a lot during the campaign, the people know him,” Dr Zulkefli told The Malaysian Insider when speaking of the man he is seeking to replace as state lawmaker.

“Before that we have never won in Gua Musang,” said the soft spoken Dr Zulkefli.

“I am confident that with our campaign, the success can be repeated,” said the son of former PAS’s former Guchil assemblyman Mohamed Awang who served in the 1970s.

Dr Zulkefli contested the Gua Musang seat for the first time in 2004 and said that the experience will help a lot in the Galas campaign.

“I am not under any pressure. I have experience contesting in elections before,” said Dr Zulkefli who met the media for the first time since his candidacy was confirmed by the Election Commission this morning.

On his two time opponent Tengku Razaleigh, Dr Zulkefli said he had nothing but respect for the Kelantan prince.

“He is a national figure who has contributed a lot to the country. I really respect him and we are not going against him, we are contesting against Barisan Nasional,” said Dr Zulkefli.

Tengku Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li was appointed BN’s Galas election director by Datuk Seri Najib Razak amid concerns that the party veteran would throw his support behind PAS.

The former Petronas chairman has been vocal in supporting the PAS-led Kelantan government’s demand for oil royalty from Putrajaya, and had become a virtual outcast in his own party.

But Umno leaders had worked hard to convince Ku Li to head the BN campaign.

The by-election was called following the death of PAS’s Che Hashim late last month.

During Election 2008, Che Hashim won Galas with 4,399 votes, defeating incumbent Saufi Deraman.

In that general election, PAS was able to capture 38 of the 45 state seats in Kelantan while BN won six and PKR managed one.

The Malays make up 61.63 per cent of the 11,553 voters in the state constituency, while the Chinese have 20.08 per cent, Indians 1.6 per cent, and other communities are approximately 17 per cent of the electorate.

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