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KT by election news update - malaysiakini

Malaysian Insider:

KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 6 – The campaigning for the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election that will decide the future of both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) officially began today after three candidates – one each from BN and Pas and one independent – filed their nomination papers.

For BN, this election is a must win to prove that the party has recovered from the March 8 political tsunami while PR has to show that it has not lost the momentum it has gained and that the alliance is still intact, while winning the hearts and minds of the Malay voters.

The one-hour period for registering candidates is over, and the one-hour period for objection is on until 11am.

BN's Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh, clad in a blue baju Melayu, arrived at the nomination centre with deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak accompanied by other party leaders as soon as the returning officer Datuk Mat Razali Kassim announced the opening of the nomination period at 9am.

They had marched for about 200m from the Menteri Besar's official residence, the Sri Iman, accompanied by thousands of supporters.

Wakaf Mempelam assemblyman Abdul Wahid Endut, whose selection as Pas's candidate took nearly everyone by surprise, arrived at the state indoor stadium with an entourage almost equal in size to the BN's.

The Kuala Terengganu Pas chief walked into the nomination centre at 9.15am accompanied by party president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and state party chief Datuk Mustafa Ali.

BN supporters were allowed to group directly in front of the stadium while the PR group is being held back behind metal gates some 50 metres to the rear. The PR side have swarmed up like a tsunami.

While the BN side continues to sing old patriotic songs, the PR side are hoisting up giant Pas moon flags while chanting spiritedly: “Reformasi! Hidup Hidup Hidup Keadilan! Allahu Akbar! Undur BN!”

In a sign of solidarity, DAP leaders Ronnie Liu and Tan Kok Wai set aside their differences with the Islamist party over the controversial Hudud issue, by marching together with Abdul Wahid to the nomination centre together with PKR vice president Azmin Ali and information chief Tian Chua.

A third candidate has entered the fray – independent Azharuddin Mamat, 46, from KT.

However, it looks likely to be a straight fight between BN and Pas because the proposers and seconders for the other candidate have registered addresses that are not within the constituency.

A fourth aspiring candidate, Harun Abdul Rahman Mohamad , the Terengganu Akim chief, had arrived at the centre but left without filing his papers. Apparently, he had a change of heart about contesting.

While waiting for the clock to count down, on the street outside, both BN and PR supporters are beating out their war tattoo on the kompang.

The BN voices are still singing the same "Pahlawan" song while PR supporters have taken to singing "Chan Mali Chan" in addition to their chanting. Now their war cries have escalated to "BN tumbang" and "BN Hancur"

Malaysiakini's report here: KT by election nomination news!