A decisive battle

( Sin Chew Daily)
The candidate selections for the Bagan Pinang are not surprising, but BN’s candidate Tan Sri Isa Samad’s comeback still grabs the people’s attention.
Isa is having a strong background. He had served as the Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar for 22 years and he used to be the Federal Territories Minister. This time, he has been appointed as the BN candidate. It is not only declaring his strong return to the political arena, but as well showing his ambition to fight again for his political career.
Deputy Umno President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently announced the return of his formal rival in front of thousands of people. As reported, the people turned up during the campaign rally were so excited. Muhyiddin, the BN election director, teased the crowd by asking four times who they wanted as the by-election candidate. He even put his hand near his ear and said: “I can’t here you!”
Of course, the crowd shouted: “Isa!”
Isa was selected based on the victory consideration.
As BN did not contest in the Penanti by-election, Bagan Pinang is the eighth by-election for BN after the 8 March general elections. Before this, BN was defeated in all the six by-elections in Peninsular and won the only by-election in Sabah, which did not serve as a strong indicator.
Undoubtedly, BN needs an impassioned victory to restore its confidence. Therefore, even though BN has never lost Bagan Pinang in which 34% of the total votes are military votes, it has chosen Isa as it cannot afford a defeat.
For Isa, the most important thing is, the by-election is a battle that decides whether he can return to the mainstream of UMNO. Also, it is a tough battle that affects the honor of BN.
The by-election seems to have caused some noises, such as former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that: “You can win the battle but lose the war.” and UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh said that there may be an “anti-climax” for the by-election. But because of the “military votes” and the “brand of Isa”, the “double assurance” allows BN a higher winning possibility.
As for Pakatan Rakyat, the participation is important to keep its political exposure. It may console itself if it can reduce BN’s votes and of course, it is going to be a great significance if it unexpectedly wins. (By LIM MUN FAH/Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/Sin Chew Daily)