KKB Polls: Three grey areas hold the key


HULU SELANGOR: Hulu Yam, Batang Kali and Ampang Pecah. It was these three areas that received the lion’s share of attention in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election in the last week of the official campaign period that ended yesterday.

Strategists from the poll’s main contestants, Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional, have classified these three areas, which contribute about 30% or about 12,000 of all eligible votes in KKB, as “grey areas” – localities where half of its voters are undecided on who to vote for.

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“These two grey areas – Batang Kali and Ampang Pecah – have the most undecided voters, and that is why we are focusing on reaching out to them personally,” said a Perikatan campaigner who requested anonymity.

Through last week, parties in the unity government alliance peppered the area with “kopitiam talks” with locals in coffee shops, walkabouts, community visits, and also mini ceramahs on certain days.

The events featured several government ministers, including Steven Sim (Human Resources), Anthony Loke (Transport) and Nga Kor Ming (Housing and Local Government), who stumped for Pakatan Harapan’s Pang Sock Tao.

Also appearing for Pakatan was Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who came three times this week, while Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing was present twice.

In these talks, Pakatan leaders emphasised how KKB voters must continue the Selangor government’s work, especially in the constituency, whose late incumbent, Lee Kee Hiong, was from the coalition.

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Lee passed away in March this year of cancer after winning another term as KKB assemblyperson in the state elections last year.

In the state elections, KKB recorded a voter turnout rate of 68.27%. The 2018 general elections saw a higher turnout, with 84.9% of voters casting their ballots.

The electorate comprises 46.91% Malay, 30.28% Chinese, 17.79% Indian and 5.02% from other communities. There are a total of 40,226 registered voters in KKB, including 238 soldiers and 526 police officers.

Not to be outdone, Perikatan held a ceramah every day in Batang Kali and Ampang Pecah to rally voters for their candidate, Khairul Azhari Saut.

The Opposition coalition brought in big guns such as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyiddin Hassan and Bersatu Selangor chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

In a controversial speech two days before polling, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang told an audience in Batang Kali that Muslims are required to vote for only Muslim candidates.

Instead of a mega-ceramah to cap off its campaign as in previous by-elections, Perikatan held a mass prayer gathering in Batang Kali called a “majlis zikir & munajat”.

“We have already covered most of the areas within the 14-day campaigning period. A prayer session with locals and our supporters would be more apt,” a Perikatan source said, explaining the rationale behind the event.

KKB voters go to the polls today.

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Kuala Kubu Baharu , by-election

   

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