KKB polls: Strategy shake-up in KKB


HULU SELANGOR: In most previous Malaysian elections, campaigns heated up at the end of the first week, with prominent politicians speaking at mega ceramah.

However, the unity government and Perikatan Nasional are taking a different approach this time, choosing mini- or mid-sized ceramah instead.

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is the Perikatan election director for the Kuala Kubu Baharu polls, said the Opposition will focus on mid-sized ceramah over the weekend, with five to be held today (May 4) and four tomorrow (May 5).

“I just held a meeting to prepare logistics because during mini-ceramah sessions, we don’t really use sound systems.

“But now, we really need a mobile PA system, so the crowd can listen to our speeches,” said Azmin during an interview at Perikatan’s operations centre in Batang Kali.

Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han, who is Pakatan Harapan’s election director for the by-election, said only a mega ceramah was held last night, with DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke and Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu among those who spoke.

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“This weekend, there will be mini-ceramah sessions. It is easier and faster in terms of reaching out to the right audience,” Ng said.

He said so far, the unity government campaigning team, which comprises Pakatan and Barisan Nasional, has covered more than 50% of KKB.

“In terms of grey areas, we have identified around 10 areas, and we have covered most of them,” added Ng.

Grey areas are terms used by political parties to describe a locality where half of its voters are undecided on who to vote for.

On the other hand, black areas mean a significant majority of voters have already made up their minds on who to support.

Sources in Pakatan and Barisan say they have identified two localities as black areas – Ampang Pecah and Batang Kali.

“Over 90% of Malays in Batang Kali strongly support Perikatan,” said the source, briefly.

Nevertheless, the Barisan source said they are still working to convince more voters in grey areas to return and vote on May 11.

Sungai Pelek assemblyman Lwi Kian Keong emphasised the need to attain at least 65% voter turnout among the Chinese electorate for a favourable outcome in the by-election.

The campaign’s cornerstone is personal voter engagement, said Lwi.

He said the current campaign strategy involves engaging with voters and hoping that more young people who have moved away will return to vote.

Lwi said the by-election’s timing, which coincides with Mothers Day weekend, may encourage out-of-town voters to return and celebrate while also performing their civic duty to vote.

“The return of these absentee voters is pivotal, and securing the Chinese vote is one of our formidable challenges,” he said.

Lwi is actively campaigning in the constituencies of Kampung Baru Kuala Kubu Baru and Ulu Yam Lama, focusing his efforts on these key demographics.

KKB’s electorate consists of 46.91% Malays, Chinese (30.28%), Indians (17.79%) and others (5.02%).

Perikatan’s main message is that voters who are disgruntled over the government’s failure to address the cost of living, as well as issues of race and religion, should vote against Pakatan at the ballot box.

Top Perikatan leaders have also said that an 80% turnout rate could help them win, and they anticipate repeating the message as the campaigns move into their second half.

PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, when met by reporters during a recent ceramah at Ulu Yam, said the entire PAS machinery is presently campaigning in KKB.

“There is no issue about PAS boycotting (the campaign) because the entire leadership will be here.

“I’ve met with part of the PAS machinery, and I am very satisfied with their work,” Tuan Ibrahim said.

He also said PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang might be joining the campaign next week.

While Perikatan and Pakatan are in full swing, the two underdogs are taking a different approach to wooing voters.

Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hafizah Zainudin said they have already covered 30% of the groundwork.

“We are letting the ‘giants’ make their rounds first. This way, our manifesto will be fresh in the minds of voters,” she said in reference to Pakatan and Perikatan.

“We are also confident that since we are going after them, the voters will have some time to further think about their choices,” she said.

Independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin said during the election campaign, she faced a lack of funds to print flyers, so she has primarily turned to social media to campaign.

Nyau said she has already visited a few Malay households and has mainly been active on social media, with plans to ramp up her campaign efforts next week.

“I hope to leverage my experience with NGOs to assist impoverished families and secure aid for them. That’s one of the reasons I am running for this by-election,” she said.

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kuala kubu baharu , polls

   

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