KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 6 (Bernama) — The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election on Jan 17 will see a three-cornered fight among Barisan Nasional (BN), PAS and an independent candidate.
The BN candidate, Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, will face Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS and independent candidate Azharudin Mamat alias Adam.
Returning officer Datuk Mat Razali Kassim made the announcement after at the nomination centre at the State Stadium after the objection period ended at 11am.
He said four objections were received but they were all rejected. Wan Ahmad Farid, 46, the former deputy home minister, was the first to submit his nomination papers when the centre opened at 10am.
He was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam.
Speaking to reporters after the nominations, Najib said the three-cornered fight was to be expected because the seat was also contested by an independent candidate besides the BN and PAS in the last general election.
“It’s not surprising to have an independent candidate this time around. We will campaign and face the challenge to ensure victory for the BN candidate, no matter what,” he said.
Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, said the BN was not treating any candidate, including the independent candidate, lightly in the by-election.
Wan Ahmad Farid was proposed by Terengganu Umno Youth chief Mohd Sabri Alwi and seconded by MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng in his nomination.
The PAS candidate, Mohd Abdul Wahid, 51, a Wakaf Mempelam state assemblyman for five terms since 1990, arrived at the centre at 9.10am accompanied by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa and Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
His proposer was Terengganu PAS commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali and seconder, Md Azmi Lok Yusof.
Azharudin, 46, a businessman, caused a stir when he turned up at the nomination centre at 9.27am to submit his nomination papers because his candidacy was unexpected.
He was proposed by Ahmad Affendi Shah Mamat alias Adam and seconded by Zakaria Abdullah.
Harun alias Ab Rahman Mohamad of Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim), who had expressed his intention to contest earlier, arrived at 9.20am but did not submit his nomination papers. Another potential candidate, Isma a Airfath Hassanuddin, did not show up.
Police estimated that the BN and PAS candidates were accompanied by 15,000 supporters respectively to the nomination centre.
The party supporters started converging on the area near the nomination centre as early as 6am.
Several roads near the stadium were closed by police to facilitate traffic control. Police helicopters hovered above to monitor the situation.
It was reported that 6,000 police personnel would be deployed to ensure public order during the by-election which is being held following the death of incumbent Datuk Razali Ismail on Nove 28.
According to Election Commission records, there are 80,229 voters in the constituency.