Bob Manolan Mohd’s ‘mistake’ gives BN an early edge over Pakatan

Zainal Epi
Candidates for the Cameron Highlands by-election (from left) Sallehudin Ab Talib, Wong Seng Yee, Ramli Mohd Noor and M. Manogaran pose for a group picture at the nomination center at SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah January 12, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Jan 12 — Although Pakatan Harapan (PH) hit the ground running immediately after nominations were filed this morning, Barisan Nasional (BN) seems to have an early edge over the ruling coalition.

This is largely due to PKR Senator Bob Manolan Mohd’s exhortation to the Orang Asli voters in the constituency. He is alleged to have said that their Tok Batin might lose their salaries and posts if they did not support PH.

Caught on the back foot, PH has to do damage control and win back the confidence of the Orang Asli voters as some see them as the determining factor in this by-election.

Top DAP leaders — secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Gobind Singh Deo — accompanied PH candidate M. Manogaran during the santai sessions at kopitiams in Ringlet and Bertam Valley.

They seem to be leading PH’s campaign in the tourist hilltop constituency which BN has held since 2004.

The ruling coalition has a packed campaign trail schedule; from the tourist towns of Brinchang and Tanah Rata right down to the Malays settlements of Jelai and the various Orang Asli settlements.

While PH’s campaign schedule has been shared with the media, BN is “playing cool” and has yet to share anything.

BN began its campaign at the home ground of its candidate Rashid Mohd Nor in Pos Mesum.

There does not seem to be any particular issue either side can play up as the voters seem to be more interested in bread and butter issues.

The by-election was called when BN candidate C. Sivarrajh was disqualified for alleged money politics in the May 9 general election.

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