DESPITE the problems faced in Perak and the uncertainty of its State government, Pakatan
Rakyat (PR) has already laid down its plan and strategies for the three by-elections, all of which share the same April 7 polling date.
The three upcoming by-elections are for the Bukit Selambau State seat in Kedah, Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and the latest, the Batang Ai State seat in Sarawak.
With limited resources that have to be stretched thin, the coalition of Pas, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is working furiously on the game plan for the coming battles.
PKR’s director of planning and strategy Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said PR had anticipated
that nomination and polling dates for Batang Ai by-election would be the same as the other two by-elections and therefore made early preparations.
“As far as we are concerned, the three by-elections would have great impact on us. They are the yardsticks with which we can judge whether the people accept us or not.” he said.
“Given such an important impact for our future survival, we have taken proactive measures to ensure victory.”
Saifuddin said Batang Ai would be the yardstick if PR should contest the upcoming Sarawak State election, while Bukit Selambau would show whether PR is maintaining its influence or seeing a decline in popularity.
“The result of the Batang Ai by-election will reflect how Sarawakians perceive us. If we win, that means we are accepted and we will contest the upcoming State election.
“As for Bukit Selambau, we won the seat in last year’s general election. So this by-election is a yardstick of whether our influence is still strong or declining.
“Bukit Gantang, on the other hand, will tell us and the nation what the people of Perak truly want — a State election or to move on with the present State government.
“Thus, all the by-elections have great bearing on PR and I think they will also have an impact on Barisan Nasional and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Since Najib said the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election held in February was not an indication of his taking over, now let us see whether or not the three coming by-elections reflect his acceptance.”
Saifuddin said PR had agreed that all three by-election campaigns would be headed by at least a vice-president of the parties in PR.
This was to reflect the seriousness of PR’s approach to the by-elections.
He added that last week, PR had gathered 150 leaders from Sarawak involved in the Batang Ai by-election to be trained and briefed on plans and strategies.
“We are starting early. We are being pro-active to ensure that we win.”