Salleh Said Keruak
We have eight more days before the voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar go to the ballot box to choose their Members of Parliament; most likely for the next two years until the next general election.
However, we are beginning to not see the trees for the forest and the campaigning is going totally off tangent.
The two constituencies ar roughly two-thirds Malay and one-third non-Malay, in particular Chinese. So one ethnic group cannot pull off a win. It has to be a unity of all races before you can be assured of winning the by-election, especially when it is not a straight fight and all the candidates are Malay.
This means whoever is going to win these two by-elections would be the party that can pull all the races together and not the party that is trying to divide the races or play the race card. And that is something campaigners from both sides need to take into consideration if they want to see their party emerge the winner.
It is normal in any election and for any party from both sides of the political divide that there will be some dissatisfaction regarding the choice of candidate.
However, Barisan Nasional has always been able to overcome this hurdle when the situation demands it. And I am confident when push comes to shove Barisan Nasional will stand together to ensure a win for their party.
These two by-elections are very important because they are not merely by-elections but are testing grounds to see whether Pakatan Harapan has what it takes to make an impact in the next general election. If they win these two by-elections, or even just one of the two by-elections, that would give the opposition the impetus for the next general election. If not then they would suffer a setback that will take them a long time to overcome and which will never happen before or by the next general election,