PKR close ranks for Hulu Selangor campaign launch

By Adib Zalkapli (Malaysian Insider)
HULU SELANGOR, April 10 — PKR launched its Hulu Selangor campaign machinery last night with a show unity among the party leaders, despite disquiet over Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s role as by-election director.
The Selangor mentri besar had waded into the role, despite Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani’s position as state election chief in leading the charge for the April 25 by-election after the death of Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
Abdullah was named deputy director of operations for the by-election and received the party flag in a simple ceremony at a mini-stadium within the constituency.
“I know my friends, Abdullah Sani and Azmin Ali, have been working very hard in preparing the election machinery, let us throw our support behind to ensure our success in the by-election,” said Khalid to loud cheers from some 300 party workers who attended the launch.
Vice-president Azmin, when briefing the party campaigners, reiterated Khalid’s crucial role in the campaign.
“There is only one general in this by-election, and he is Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim,” said the Gombak MP.
Khalid’s appointment as the election chief was said to have caused unhappiness among some party leaders, but Azmin had denied the infighting claims, adding he had made the suggestion for Khalid to take up the post.
The launch of the PKR campaign was also attended by party election director Fuziah Salleh, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, and DAP’s Tan Seng Giaw.
The by-election, the first in Selangor since Election 2008, is crucial for PKR as it had lost four federal lawmakers since February.
Nomination day for the Hulu Selangor by-election is April 17, and PKR faces an uphill task as all three state seats were won by Barisan Nasional (BN) in Election 2008.
Abdullah has handpicked several grassroots leaders to co-ordinate the campaign in the state seats while Khalid has announced awards to win over the population in the federal seat, which covers an area the size of Malacca.
PKR will announce its candidate on April 13, two days ahead of BN.
There are 64,500 voters in Hulu Selangor, with the Malays making up 52.7 per cent of the total while the Chinese constitute 26.3 per cent, Indians approximately 19 per cent and other races at 1.7 per cent.