PENGKALAN CHEPA, March 12, 2015:
PAS has refused to switch to full gear for the March 22 Chempaka by-election campaign as the party feels the contest only involves independents, says its vice-president.
Speaking to The Rakyat Post, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party also felt there was no need to put up a lot of party flags or hold ceramah daily.
“We were anticipating a good contest for the by-election, but in the end we feel that it is not a great contest now that only independents are involved.”
The PAS Pahang commissioner said that party flags would eventually be placed at strategic locations within the constituency, in particular the 10 voting districts.
Despite having enough party flags for a full-blown campaign, the decision was made to save costs, he said.
Tuan Ibrahim said the Islamist party would switch to full campaigning mode on Friday and had organised a grand ceramah in Chempaka.
“Our candidate will only be going on a full-scale campaign from then on.”
Tuan Ibrahim was responding to the checks conducted by The Rakyat Post which found a lack of party flags or banners being erected in the constituency despite the campaign period kicking off today.
Save for a few areas, where the occasional PAS flag could be seen, nothing within the Chempaka constituency implied that a by-election was taking place.
Further checks revealed that the independent candidates had started their walkabouts and ceramah, albeit on a very small scale.
Independent candidates Aslah Mamat and Syarif Mahmood were seen campaigning at several eating places last night.
The Chempaka by-election will see a five-way battle between PAS’ Ahmad Fathan Mahmood @ Mahamad and independent candidates Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, Fadzillah Hussin, Aslah and Sharif.
Barisan Nasional had decided not to contest the seat to concentrate on relief efforts in the state, which was ravaged by floods last December.
The state seat fell vacant following the death of PAS spiritual adviser and former Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on Feb 12 following a bout with prostate cancer.
Nik Abdul Aziz had retained the seat in the 13th General Election in 2013 by beating Wan Razman Wan Abd Razak of the Barisan Nasional with a majority of 6,500 votes.