April 29, 2015 by Suara Kebenaran
GEORGE TOWN: Umno should exploit the schism between PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali to unseat the Opposition in its Permatang Pauh stronghold.
PKR has held the seat since 1999 and Wan Azizah is contesting the by-election on May 7 which comes about after her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, had to vacate the seat when he was sentenced to five years in jail in February for sodomy.
BN’s (Umno’s) Suhaimi Sabudin, Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Azman Shah Othman and independent candidate Salleh Isahak make it a four-cornered fight.
Umno’s Arif Shah Omar Shah, who served as Seberang Jaya assemblyman from 2004 to 2013, has cautioned BN (Umno) leaders from issuing controversial or unwarranted statements during the campaigning but said this was a “beautiful time” for BN considering the factional war between Wan Azizah and Azmin Ali. He said the PAS issue would also work in BN’s favour.
“If PAS backs out and votes for the independent candidate, BN stands a good chance to win,” Arif Shah said in an interview with The Rakyat Post.
Arif Shah predicted that if BN politicians did not mess up during the campaigning in Permatang Pauh, and if the division among the opposition was exploited, BN could win by 500 to 600 votes.
Anwar took 37,090 votes to win Permatang Pauh in the 2013 general election, surpassing his nearest rival, BN’s Mazlan Ismail by an 11,721 majority.