ROMPIN: Barisan Nasional is taking proactive steps to ensure that its supporters vote for the Pakatan Harapan candidates in the two by-elections in Johor on Sept 9, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Barisan chairman said the measures included explaining to Umno members the need to support Pakatan based on the BN-PH cooperation and teaching the older members to select the candidates using the Pakatan symbol.
The explanation sessions began on the eve of nominations, and Johor Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi would be taking follow-up actions to ensure members were properly briefed, he said.
"I am confident of the help from the divisional leadership throughout Johor to clarify this matter (need to vote for Pakatan). Voters should not be confused, and the Johor Mentri Besar said practice sessions have been held to teach hardcore Barisan voters to pick Pakatan.
"This has been done at the level of polling district centre and locality since yesterday," he told a press conference after launching the Risda palm oil mill biogas project at the Ulu Keratong biogas plant here on Sunday (Aug 27).
Ahmad Zahid said this when asked what measures Barisan was taking to ensure its supporters especially senior citizens would know they should vote for Pakatan and not be confused by the absence of the scale symbol from the ballot papers.
The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections were triggered by the death of Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub on July 23.
Pakatan has fielded Suhaizan Kaiat in Pulai and Nazri Abdul Rahman in Simpang Jeram, and they are involved in three-cornered fights with Perikatan Nasional and independent candidates.
Ahmad Zahid also said Barisan was stepping up its use of social media in the election campaign as the 15th general election last year and the recent six state elections showed that they were lagging behind in this area of psychological warfare.
He said campaigning through social media had proven to be effective in the battle for the hearts and minds of voters in recent times.
Asked about the possibility of 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues being played up in the by-elections, Ahmad Zahid said he was optimistic that Johor voters would not be influenced by such tactics.
"Johor people are different, and I see that they actually reject 'narrow’ issues raised in the six state elections,” said the Umno president.- Bernama