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Hulu Selangor Flurry of Activities

April 16, 2010

Malaysian political parties gear up for Hulu Selangor by-election
By Channel NewsAsia’s Malaysia Bureau Chief Melissa Goh | Posted: 15 April 2010 0036 hrs

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Malaysian political parties gear up for Hulu Selangor by-election

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s opposition alliance Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has stepped up the pressure on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition for an upcoming by-election.

It has named former law minister Zaid Ibrahim as its representative for the by-election in Hulu Selangor.

Hulu Selangor is one of the least developed constituencies in Malaysia’s most industrialised state of Selangor.

Ahead of Nomination Day this weekend, the constituency is witnessing a flurry of activities as political big wigs descend on the area to woo voters.

The stakes are high for both the opposition and the ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has set his sights on recapturing the state of Selangor, and he has vowed to win big in Hulu Selangor.

Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR, meanwhile, is desperately in need of a victory to boost party morale and restore public confidence.

And that is why it is fielding its most formidable candidate – prominent lawyer-turned-politician Zaid Ibrahim.

Anwar Ibrahim said: “What’s so special about him? Ask yourself in the political history of this country, how many are willing to sacrifice their positions, resign as minister in order to defend the rights of the people?”

The 55-year-old former law minister quit the cabinet in 2008.

He was sacked from the ruling party UMNO and joined the opposition Parti Keadilan a year later.

Since then he has risen through the ranks and was responsible for drafting the opposition charter.

At his acceptance speech, Mr Zaid fended off criticism that he is not a local.

Zaid Ibrahim, PKR candidate, said: “I am not an outsider. I have resided in Selangor for a long time. I know the problems people face in Selangor. I know the problem, God willing, with your support I can be your voice.”

BN is announcing its candidate on Thursday, with deputy president of Malaysia Indian Congress G. Palanivel, the likely choice.

Ahead of Nomination Day on Saturday, more may join in the last-minute fray as the battle to woo Hulu Selangor’s 64,000 voters officially kicks off. – CNA/de

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