Pelangai by-election: BN's focus on providing service, national issues 'weapon' for PN
BENTONG - Offering good service and clarifying the vision and mission for the Pelangai state constituency is the main focus of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) machinery despite the onslaught of national issues played up by the opposition in the state seat by-election.
BN candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam has outlined the 'Pelangai Gateway' as his vision to improve the socioeconomic level of the local community in addition to focusing on income, housing and infrastructure provision for the youth to continue the service provided by the late Pelangai assemblyman Datuk Seri Johari Harun.
The BN machinery’s narrative is that in order to realise the goal, it is imperative for the incoming assemblyman to be 'in line with; the state and federal governments.
Meanwhile, issues such as the lack of rice supply and the increase in the price of the staple, as well as the cost of living and UMNO's collaboration with DAP have became the opposition's main ‘weapon’.
Aware of the attacks, Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, who is also the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security has frequented Pelangai - located about 132 kilometres from Putrajaya - to explain the current situation with regard to rice supply.
Political analyst from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Prof Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the BN machinery needed to be more aggressive in terms of perception management during the remainder of the campaign and not feel too comfortable.
"BN has to be careful...they (the Opposition) are playing up national issues quite a bit because it is seen that local issues don't really have an impact.
"So for the remainder of the campaign period, BN needs to manage its campaign as best as possible before handing it over to the voters here who need to make a decision that is beyond mere sentiment, be rational and practical on what is happening in Pelangai at the moment," he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kedah Dr Jazimin Zakaria said the narrative often played up by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) machinery was seen to be successfully dealt with through arguments based on data and facts by the BN and PH machineries.
He said most of the issues highlighted by the opposition had also been countered through the BN and PH campaigns which carried a lot of development-based narratives.
"However, if this (PN) narrative is not dealt with well in the rest of the campaign, for example the issue of rice and the prices of goods, it is not impossible for the ‘green wave’ to hit Pelangai," he told Bernama.
The Pelangai state by-election was held following the death of Johari who died in a plane crash in Shah Alam, Selangor on Aug 17.
It sees a three-cornered clash among BN’s Amizar, PN candidate Kasim Samat and Independent, Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni.
A total of 16,456 voters are eligible to fulfill their responsibility in the by-election, including 36 policemen and three overseas absent voters. - BERNAMA