Source : From internet
The youths of Kelantan who are working inother states will decide whether Barisan Nasional or PAS rules the state.
KOTA BARU: Kelantanese voters who are working outside the state will have a huge say on who will rule the state.
Many of the state’s young leave the state for jobs eleswhere since there are not many quality jobs in Kelantan.
But, even if they are away they register in their hometown as voters. And ,most of them work in the Klang Valley, or the northern and southern regions, where economic growth is considered more impressive.
State opposition leader Md Alwi Che Ahmad said the young, who are out-of-state voters, would likely become the kingmakers in deciding the outcome of the polls here.
Both political sides are actively engaging voters residing outside the state, with many of them feted to dinners, religious forums, debates and social club gatherings.
According to Alwi, Barisan Nasional or Umno is optimistic of a better showing this time around compared to the 2008 election.
Currently, BN only holds six out of the 45 state seats.
“We are projecting perhaps somewhere close to the 2004 performance when BN held 22 and PAS, 23 seats. A majority of only one seat.”
The optimism is growing because in 2004, PAS in Kelantan did not have any major issues confronting them, while its menteri besar and party spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was popular, he said.
Alwi said now PAS is besieged by issues, not caused by Umno, but mostly by the former’s involvement in Pakatan Rakyat.
“There are the issues of Pakatan’s tentative approval for non-Muslims to use the Allah word, there is Pakatan’s liberalism which has unsettled Muslim conservatives and there are alleged demands which threaten the constitutional fabric of the country.”
These are issues created by Pakatan itself, Alwi pointed out.
Alwi said Kelantan PAS is also overwhelmed with the issues of succession to the ailing Nik Aziz.
“In all frankness and no disrespect to him, Nik Aziz spends more time visiting the hospital than he does his office.”
It is believed that the state has informally appointed state PAS deputy commissioner II Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah as the state’s spokesman on administrative matters because Nik Aziz is at times preoccupied with his health issues.
The factions surrounding Kelantan PAS are also threatening to derail the Islamist party’s hopes of a smooth succession plan.
Kelantanese are one of the most parochial in Malaysia with their own distinctive culture, food, language, and customs.
It is the state which also shares an affinity with their brethren across the Malaysia-Thai border, as historically they belong to the same ancient Pattani Malay Sultanate Empire.
It is learnt that BN through the efforts of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, are now trying to help bring peace to the southern Thai region, after over seven decades of bloodshed between the Buddhist-dominated central Thai authorities and the Muslim majority villagers in southern Thailand.
This, if it becomes a reality, is a big plus point for BN, Alwi said.
Another sign that BN is growing confident in Kelantan, is the notion that PAS may have “overstayed” in Kelantan, and it is running out of zest on how to best manage the state, Alwi said.
While on the national front BN is depicted as clinging on for far too long, in Kelantan the opposite applies, he said.
PAS has ruled Kelantan more than BN, that is the fact, he added.
Except for the period from 1978 to 1990, PAS has effectively governed Kelantan with its brand of Islamist interpretions, but it also comes at the expense of developing the state’s potential, he adds.
This article from Free Malaysia Today
This article from Free Malaysia Today