KUALA TERENGGANU: Although it is a three-cornered fight in all 40 parliamentary and state seats in Terengganu, the real battle is between Barisan Nasional’s Umno and PAS in the east coast state.
The main opposition coalition, in its current guise as Pakatan Harapan, has not managed to create an impression in the state, where PAS is still seen as the main opposition party.
If the flag war in the state is any indication, PAS would be the winner and Barisan a close second, while Pakatan would suffer a drubbing.
Campaigning in the state has also been very low key, with the focus being more on small events in villages and housing areas, as opposed to mega rallies.
The only mega rally by Pakatan was held in Dungun on April 30, and although the turnout to the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad event was sizable by Terengganu standards, it was nothing like those in the west coast.
The Barisan-led government notably has a slim majority in the 32-seat state assembly, holding 17 seats against PAS’ 14 and Pakatan’s one courtesy of PKR.
The eight parliamentary seats are evenly divided between Barisan and PAS.
The opposition parties will find it difficult to increase the number of seats from 15 because votes for the Opposition will be split between PAS and Pakatan.
The choice of Barisan candidates appears to appease different camps in Umno, with some old faces making a return and only two incumbents dropped.
Observers are predicting a Barisan win in Terengganu, with PAS giving them a good fight.
Among the seats to watch will be the Marang parliamentary seat, which PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang will be defending for a sixth term. He has decided not to contest the Ru Rendang state seat which he has held since 1986.
The Batu Buruk state seat will see Abdul Hadi’s eldest son Muhammad Khalil making his election debut.
The PAS Youth chief will be defending the seat for his party against Parti Amanah Negara state chief Datuk Raja Bahrin Shah Ahmad and Barisan’s Zamri Awang Hitam.
In the Bandar state seat, MCA, through Toh Seng Cheng, will try to wrest the only seat it is contesting, from PKR state chief Azan Ismail.