RANTAU, April 12 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate in Rantau Dr S. Streram today refuted Ilham Centre’s findings that said his over-reliance on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his by-election campaign will cost him the seat.
He said the findings were inaccurate as having top leadership in town brings voters out.
“Every leader that’s come down for PH has attracted more locals compared to the Barisan Nasional (BN) machinery who have mainly outsiders at their ceramahs,” said Dr Streram when contacted.
“Anwar is a charismatic leader, the prime minister-in-waiting, which naturally attracts people’s attention as they want to come and listen to what he has to say.
“Despite what the survey says, the main thing is to get the actual voters out to hear our pledges and speeches and hopefully, they’ll come out to vote tomorrow.”
The survey said that there has been an over-reliance by PKR and PH on Anwar for the Rantau campaign, while “minimal” campaign efforts by other PH allies did not bring about any major impact to voters.
In contrast, Dr Streram gave examples of BN leaders who made appearances in Rantau but were poorly received by locals here.
He cited former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who made two visits to Rantau with only a handful of people turning up to support him.
“Due to the poor following, Zahid decided not to come down anymore,” Dr Streram told Malay Mail.
“This is why we want to focus on good charismatic leaders coming down to speak to the voters in Rantau on the issues that they’re facing and how to help them rather than huge numbers.
“In the end, I firmly believe that honest leaders will bring the voters out to vote,” added the 62-year-old.
The by-election has been necessitated by the Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the November 16 Seremban Election Court’s decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th general election (GE14) as null and void.
In GE14, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat after Dr Streram was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his papers because he did not have a pass issued by the Election Commission.
Polling day is tomorrow.