TOKYO: Barisan Nasional will adopt the “campaigning without the candidate” strategy for the Kuala Kangsar by-election, as Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid is observing iddah (the waiting period following the death of a Muslim woman’s husband).
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the strategy took into consideration the fatwa or edict that was a requirement according to Islamic law.
“We have consulted several Muslim scholars including those who are members of the National Fatwa Council, besides discussing with Perak Mufti (Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria) to clear the air among differing views on the matter,” he told the Malaysian media here.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said several methods had been sought to introduce Mastura to the voters, including broadcasting recordings of her speech at all district polling centres and targeted locations, besides non-verbal communication.
“Rest assured that we have well thought out this strategy to ensure that due respect is given to Islamic law and hope that the voters, comprising almost 60% Muslims, will understand the needs of the situation,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the campaign strategy was also made known to the non-Muslim Barisan component leaders to enable them to explain to the voters.
On the acceptance of Mastura by the voters, Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Barisan candidate had her own advantage as she had great experience in national politics.
“She mixed around with the electorate when her late husband (Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad) was the Bukit Chandan assemblyman and later the Kuala Kangsar MP in 2013.
“I am confident she will be well-received compared to other candidates,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid stressed that the current controversy over the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Court Bill (Criminal Jurisdiction) in Kelantan would not affect the support of non-Muslims.
“Before a Bill can be approved and enforced, it must go through seven stages, which includes getting the approval of the Parliament, Senate and the Conference of Rulers.
“All the processes would take a long time. I hope non-Muslims will not worry too much over the Bill,” he said.
In Kuala Kangsar, the Election Commission called upon all parties to “campaign like gentlemen”, reminding them to be respectful towards one another as it was the month of Ramadan.
Its secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh also warned campaigners, especially outsiders, against resorting to acts that could provoke the locals.
“This seat is vacant because of a tragic event, so please be mindful. Respect the families and the residents here.
“My advice is to not touch on sensitive issues and don’t slander others,” he said.
Voters can check their respective polling centres at www.spr.gov.my, contact 03-8892 7000 or 05-249 4113, or text SPRsemak to 15888.