LIPIS: Pakatan Harapan (PH) will give a tough fight to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) will not able to defend the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat in the Jan 26 by-election.
Pahang PKR chairman Fuziah Salleh said although BN would field an Orang Asli candidate in the by-election, the strategy could favour PH instead, as it planned to pull out all the stops to highlight issues faced by the community that were ignored by the previous government.
“Their tactic (BN) to name an Orang Asli candidate is not an advantage to them ... what was the candidate’s contribution to the Orang Asli community (when BN was the Federal government) in Cameron Highlands?
“Did he help solve the customary land issues for the Orang Asli? Did he assist in improving the livelihood and the economy of the community?
“It is not a wise move if they only want to start this fight (for the Orang Asli rights) now, by fielding a candidate from the community.
“We (PH) have been fighting for them (Orang Asli) even when we were not part of the government. So we will continue our fight (for them) now that we are in the federal government. Our struggle is not seasonal, it is consistent,” she said.
Fuziah, who is also the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told reporters when met after visiting the PH operating centre in Sungai Koyan here today.
She said the by-election was expected to see a neck and neck competition and hoped the 32,008 voters in the constituency will cast their votes wisely.
“PH is the Federal government and the state government is run by BN. Both have their advantages when mobilising their election machinery. I hope PH’s election machinery will not take things for granted and work extra hard to win the votes,” she said.
On Nov 30, the Election Court declared BN’s victory in Cameron Highlands as null and void due to elements of corrupt practices during the 14th General Election.
During the May 9 polls, Datuk C. Sivarraajh garnered 10,307 votes, beating Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M. Manogaran who received 9,710 votes, and three others.
The three other candidates were Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud (Pas) with 3,587 votes; Mohd Tahir Kassim (Berjasa) with 81 votes and B. Suresh Kumar (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) with 680 votes.
On June 4, DAP candidate Manogaran filed a petition for the results to be nullified over a breach of the Election Offences Act 1954.