Eight parliamentary constituencies identified as ‘hot seats’

KUALA LUMPUR: The parliamentary constituencies of Gelang Patah (Johor), Putrajaya (Federal Territory), Lembah Pantai (Federal Territory) and Permatang Pauh (Penang) are among the hot seats out of the 222 parliamentary constituencies contested in the 13th general election (GE13).

The contest in Cameron Highlands (Pahang), Segamat (Johor), Arau (Perlis) and Shah Alam (Selangor) are also considered to be among hot seats that will draw the attention of the public and political observers as they will be contested by political veterans besides involving more than three-corner fights.

The Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency, which has 106,864 voters, will see a straight fight between Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang.

The seat is held by Tan Ah Eng from the Barisan Nasional (BN) who won with a 8,851-vote majority in the last poll.

Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, in an interview with TV3 yesterday said both the political giants had their respective advantages with Abdul Ghani perceived to be more dominant in Johor while Kit Siang is popular at the national level.

“I find the selection of Abdul Ghani as most appropriate and should not be perceived as representing one particular ethnic group. He is also accepted by all communities after having served the people all the while since he became the BN candidate compared to Kit Siang who frequently changed locations,” he said.

Besides Gelang Patah, Permatang Pauh will also witness a three-corner fight where incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be challenged by Dr Mazlan Ismail (BN) and Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin (Independent).

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who is the incumbent for Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency, will be challenged by Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin (BN) and independent candidate Rusli Baba.

In the 2008 general election, Anwar won with a majority of 15,671 votes while his daughter, Nurul Izzah won with a 2,895-vote majority.

Meanwhile, MIC president Datuk Seri G.Palanivel will also face a strong challenge in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency against DAP candidate M Manogaran and three independents.

The seat was won by the BN through Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K.Devamany with a majority of 3,117 votes in GE12.

BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who won the Putrajaya parliamentary seat for two terms since 2004, will be involved in a straight fight against PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa. In 2008, Tengku Adnan won with a 2,734-vote majority.

In the Shah Alam parliamentary constituency, incumbent Khalid Abdul Samad (PAS) will be challenged by BN friendly candidate Datuk Zulkifli Noordin.

Elsewhere, MIC deputy president and Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam, and his close friend and former health minister, Datuk Chua Jui Ming, who is Johor PKR chairman, will face one another in the Segamat parliamentary constituency.

In the previous election, Khalid won with a majority of 9,314 votes while Subramaniam won with a 2,991-vote majority.

Another interesting contest is expected in the Arau parliamentary constituency where former Perlis menteri besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim will be involved in a three-corner fight with PAS deputy spiritual leader, Datuk Dr Haron Din, and Zainudin Yom (Independent).

The Arau parliamentary seat was won by Datuk Ismail Kasim, who is also Shahidan’s younger brother from the BN, who defeated Haron with a 300-vote majority in 2008.

The Election Commission (EC) has fixed 15 days for campaigning while polling day will be May 5. The EC also fixed April 30 for early voting. – Bernama

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