Muhyiddin says BN targets 6,000-vote majority

By G. Manimaran (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA KUBU BARU, April 25 — Even before polling closes, the Barisan Nasional (BN) says it is confident of victory in today’s Hulu Selangor by-election, with a majority of 6,000 votes targetted by the campaign.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the 6,000-vote target was based on the majority obtained by BN in winning the three state seats within the parliamentary constituency in Election 2008.
“Two years ago we got around 6,000-vote majority from the three state seats so we are placing our KPI target at the same level,” he told reporters here.
Explaining his confidence, the deputy prime minister said that rough estimates showed that BN obtained 300 votes from one ballot box where it only received 100 votes in the last general election.
“But that is only an example,” he said.
Selangor’s first by-election since Election 2008 was called following the March 25 death of PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad, who won the seat by a slim 198-vote majority over four-term MP and MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.
Palanivel was the initial MIC choice but a very public spat with Umno which wanted a fresh face finally saw a compromise candidate in P. Kamalanathan, the MIC information chief and Putera MIC co-ordinator.
Two others, V. Chandran and Johan Md Diah, signed up on Nomination Day last April 17 as independent candidates but dropped out last Tuesday. Chandran, the former Hulu Selangor MIC deputy chief, is campaigning for BN but Johan has disappeared.
“I hope that there will good, reasonable margin. We had set our own KPI, told our workers at their respective… at their peti undi (ballot boxes).
“For every ballot box we have set our own targets. The KPI is based on the previous general election… so that will be our KPI that we had set.
“My KPI for the three state seats should reflect… let’s say we had 6,000 and in Parliament we lost by 198. So the KPI we can raise. That is very simple.
“This is the target. Whatever it is let’s see,” said Muhyiddin.
Asked about the factors behind setting the 6,000-vote majority target, Muhyiddin said he wanted to set a high target so that the BN campaign would work hard for victory.
“We must have targets,” he said.
“I do not want people to say I am arrogant or optimistic… so that when people hear this they do not bother coming out to vote but I want a win,” he said.
The Hulu Selangor campaign has been blistering from the word go, with both rival coalitions pouring millions and promising more while trading personal attacks against each other’s candidates.
In what has become the most keenly-contested by-election since Election 2008, both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and BN have pulled out all the stops in a vote which could define both coalitions’ fortunes in the next general election.
The prime minister, who has already called today’s vote a referendum on his administration, has hit the hustings continuously in recent days.
Observers point out that BN must win big today to justify Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal involvement in what he has called a referendum of his year-long administration.
In an unprecedented move, the prime minister himself has led the campaign to ensure Kamalanathan defeats PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
BN has consistently won the seat with at least a 8,500-vote majority since 1990 when Palanivel began the first of his four terms in the constituency the size of Malacca.
For the current campaign, BN has given close to RM60 million in a combination of projects and cash awards to win over the majority of the 64,500 voters in the traditionally pro-BN constituency, which comprises three state seats won by BN in Election 2008.
Anything less than a 3,000-vote majority, ironically predicted by independent Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali, will be a slap in the face for Najib and BN.