|This story was printed from channelnewsasia.com |
||Malaysian poll: A four-cornered fight in capital KL |
||13 March 2004 2118 hrs (SST) |
KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's 11th General Election will see a four-cornered fight in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Supporters of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and opposition parties showed up as early as 8am, marching with their candidates to the nomination centres.
Along the way, there was much flag waving and shouting of slogans to try and garner public support.
Titiwangsa constituency will be hotly contested between UMNO's candidate who is a new face and the candidate from Parti Islam.
In 1999, the UMNO candidate for the area won by a slim majority because the Anwar Ibrahim saga had played a key factor in reducing their votes. But this time round, candidates will be fighting on localised issues.
M. Saravanan, Malaysian Indian Congress, said: "Local issues will be housing. We want to achieve zero rate by 2005. That means by that year Kuala Lumpur will be free from squatters."
Islamic education is another issue the opposition plans to emphasise.
Mohammed Noh Mohammed, PAS candidate for Titiwangsa, said: "Although there are more than 60 percent of Muslim Malays in Titiwangsa, there is not even one Islamic school here. We must fight for this issue."
For UMNO, the focus is on new voters, with the help of the Women's Wing.
Norita Jaafar, Head of Puteri UMNO at Titiwangsa, said: "This is the first time Puteri Umno is actually directly involved in the main elections, national elections. so we are supposed to bring out the new voters, the young voters to come up and choose the right party."
In Bangsar, a wealthy area, Malaysia's Women and Family Development Minister Sharizat Jalil faces a straight fight from the Keadilan candidate.
"I am happy to inform you that there are no issues confronting," she said.
Her confidence in the government's track record contrasted sharply with the views of her rival.
Dr Sanusi Osman, candidate for Parti Keadilan, said: "There are many issues, all these issues will be raised in our ceramah, in the main or small talks and all these come from the local people, there are many issues they are not happy."
Dr Sanusi identified one of these as housing.
With the battle lines drawn, the battle for the 11 parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur is expected to be keen.
Political observers are particularly interested in the contests in traditional hotbed constituencies like Bukit Bintang, a predominantly Chinese area which is seeing a four-cornered fight. - CNA