As early voting kicks off, both BN, Pakatan's Rantau candidates cautiously optimistic of chances

Pakatan Harapan's Rantau candidate Dr S. Streram observes early voting at the Sendayan Air Force base April 9, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Pakatan Harapan's Rantau candidate Dr S. Streram observes early voting at the Sendayan Air Force base April 9, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

RANTAU, April 9 — As early polling kicks off today for the Rantau by-election, both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates expressed confidence in their respective campaigns so far.

With five days left till polling day this coming Saturday, BN hopeful Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan and PH candidate Dr S. Streram admitted that the campaign will get “interesting’’ as both parties push for the last leg of the race.

While Dr Streram has maintained that he remains an underdog in the by-election, he finds that voters are always willing to hear what he has to say.

“I am always optimistic at my chances as I am the underdog here.

“So far, I face no problems with the voters here and they are always willing to listen to new ideas and perspective,’’ he said.

Earlier today, Dr Streram and Mohamad arrived at the Dewan Angakasaraya at the Sendayan Air Force Base around 9am to observe the early voting process.

Dr Streram, dressed in a red Batik shirt and dark pants, was greeted by voters and Election Commission personnel.

Mohamad arrived mere minutes after the Dr Streram and met up with fellow voters outside the hall.

BN's Rantau candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan speaks to Air Force personnel during early voting at the Sendayan Air Force base April 9, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
BN's Rantau candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan speaks to Air Force personnel during early voting at the Sendayan Air Force base April 9, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Dress in a checkered shirt and grey pants, Mohamad or fondly known as Tok Mat was listening to several grouses brought up by air force personnel who had been assigned to the newly operational air force base.

“I was just listening in to what they have to say on the new compound. They have brought up several issues and I hope to raise it with the Ministry of Defence when I get the chance,’’ he said to the press today.

Despite being the Rantau assemblyman for three terms since 2004, Mohamad said he is not underestimating his opponents in the race.

“I can’t be too overconfident. No use for people to claim that they support me but they will not come out on voting day. I am working around the clock to see that their support for me materialises on voting day,’’ he said.

Both Dr Streram and Mohamad greeted each other at the Rantau Police station earlier in the day.

The early poll today will see 110 voters, with eight of them voting by post, while 74 others, comprising military personnel and their spouses, will vote at the Sendayan air base and 36, made up of police personnel, will vote at the Rantau police station.

The two polling stations will close at noon.

There are 20,926 registered voters in the Rantau state constituency, comprising 20,804 ordinary voters, four voters in absence, and the remaining are early voters.