ihsan : Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — PKR leaders said today that voter sentiment still favours the opposition in Hulu Selangor despite a resurgent Barisan Nasional (BN) which holds all three state seats in the parliamentary constituency.
PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail however noted that the Hulu Selangor seat was a “unique” one to contest since all three state seats were not opposition strongholds.
“(But) I think the mood is good,” she however told reporters after emerging from the party’s political bureau and supreme council back-to-back meetings here this evening.
In Election 2008, BN’s Mohd Isa Abu Kasim (Umno-Batang Kali), Datuk Mohamed Idris Abu Bakar (Umno-Hulu Bernam), and Wong Koon Mun (MCA-Kuala Kubu Baru) walked away as victors for their respective state seats while the late PKR MP Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad scored a surprising win of the parliamentary seat when he polled a slim 198-vote majority against MIC’s Datuk G. Palanivel.
Wan Azizah also coyly said “see what Barisan Nasional does first” when asked when the party planned to announce its chosen candidate.
“We will see when is the appropriate time to announce our candidate.
“Tengoklah BN dulu (wait for BN first),” she added, laughing.
When her husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emerged from the meeting and was asked the same questions, he said, “Insyallah, we will work hard to win this.”
Earlier, PKR elections director Fuziah Salleh said that the total number of candidates on PKR’s list had now ballooned to “at least 12” names, from the original five who were at first suggested.
“We have continued to receive more. And this is a good thing because it shows that people have confidence in us and are willing to contest on the PKR ticket.
“It is unlike before when it was so hard to find candidates,” she said.
Fuziah added that the list would only be finalised during the political bureau meeting next Wednesday and the name of the selected nominee might be announced then.
“But I cannot say for certain now because we have agreed that this would be the prerogative of the president, the de facto leader and the special committee that is formed specifically for the vetting of the candidates,” she said.
The supreme council, added Fuziah, had agreed to leave the prerogative of selecting the by-election candidate to the special committee, which is expected to table the full list on Wednesday.
Fuziah also assured that the selection of candidate would not be based on the person’s race.
“The selection will be based on the candidate’s winnability factor and not the race. Race is not an issue here because we are looking at someone who can represent all races,” she said.
The Hulu Selangor seat fell vacant after its MP Zainal Abidin passed away due to a brain tumour.
There are 64,500 registered voters in Hulu Selangor, with 63,701 regular voters and 799 postal voters.
Of the total, the Malays make up the majority with 34,020 voters or 52.7 per cent. The next largest group is the Chinese with 16,964 voters (26.3 per cent), flowed by the Indians at 12,453 voters or 19.3 per cent.