Kajang by-elections : Pakatan in full force on nomination day

KAJANG, 11 MARCH : Nomination day for the Kajang by-election proceeded smoothly with both the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional candidates filing their nomination papers without incident.

Wan Azizah’s arrival at 8.57am was greeted by a roaring crowd of thousands of Pakatan Rakyat’s supporters, most of whom had arrived and waited since 7.30am to witness the Kajang by-election nominations at the Kajang Municipal Sports Complex.

The vacated Kajang seat which was initially targeted by Pakatan as its launching pad for Anwar Ibrahim to Putrajaya, is now contested by his wife Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) President Wan Azizah after the recent controversial court decision that found Anwar guilty of sodomy.

The strong support and vast turnout by people of all races today negates initial speculation that Anwar’s shock sentencing would dampen Pakatan’s efforts to solidify their position in Kajang via this by election. Cheers of “Reformasi!” and “undur Barisan!” could be heard throughout the event indicating their disapproval of the nation’s current governance. Accompanying Wan Azizah were Anwar, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and PKR Deputy president Azmin Ali.

Wan Azizah Barisan National opponent is Chew Mei Fun, deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) who was once the Petaling Jaya Utara MP prior to 2008. Chew arrived at 8.50am accompanied by Deputy BN Chairman Muhyiddin Yassin and UMNO vice president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The nomination period ended at 10.00am with the two candidates being confirmed to battle it out on March 23. Zaid Ibrahim who had previously expressed his intention to stand here, pulled out yesterday stating that there was no need for him to stand since Anwar cannot become the MB of Selangor anymore. The ex-BN and ex-PKT leader had initially wanted to compete against Anwar for Kajang to prevent the latter from acquiring the Selangor state seat in the event that the Reformasi leader won here.

There are an estimated number of 38,965 voters in Kajang; 48% Malays, 41% Chinese and 10% Indians who will be given the opportunity to decide on this crucial by-election that would ultimately send a message of approval or disapproval of the BN led government come 23 March. -The Rocket

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