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February 24, 2008 19:58 PM

Awang Adek In Straight Fight For Parliamentary And State Seats

BACHOK, Feb 24(Bernama) -- Kelantan Umno liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin is in a straight fight with Pas candidates for both the Bachok parliamentary and Perupok state seats.

Awang Adek, 53, who has been tipped to become Kelantan Menteri Besar if BN takes over the state from Pas in the March 8 general election, will be challenged by Pas Deputy President Nasharudin Mat Isa, 56 in Bacok and Datuk Omar Mohammed, 63, who is the incumbent for Perupok.

In the 2004 general election, Awang Adek only contested the Bachok parliamentary seat and won with a majority of 3,272 votes defeating Wan Nik Wan Yusof. He obtained 25,194 votes while Wan Nik 21,922 votes. Two more state seats Tawang and Jelawat also saw straight fights between BN and Pas.

In Tawang, BN newcomer Ibrahim Mat Din,56, will challenge the incumbent Pas candidate Hassan Mohamood, 53, while in Jelawat BN candidate, who is also the incumbent Datuk Dr Ilias Husin, 57, will be challenged by Pas new face Abdul Aziz Kadir, 56 tahun.

Some 5,000 supporters from BN and Pas attired in their party's formal colours -- blue for BN and green for Pas -- were present to show their support, making the atmosphere lively but orderly.

When approached by reporters, Awang Adek said that he hoped to assist in developing Bachok, one of the poorest districts in Kelantan, if he won the election.

"We will prove that BN keeps its promises and will implement development programmes," he said.

On the Pas candidates, he said he respected both, Nasharudin who is not from Kelantan, and Omar an old guard and a former Kelantan Exco.

For Nasharudin, who is labelled as "an outsider," this would not affect his efforts to win back the seat from BN and is confident of getting the people's support.

In Jeli, BN candidate Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who would defend his Jeli parliamentary seat will face his "old enemy" Pas' Mohd Apandi Mohamad for the third time since the 1999 general election.

The contest between the two is interesting as the two candidates had defeated each other before this.

Mohd Apandi had defeated Mustapa in the 1999 election while Mustapa defeated him in the 2004 general election with a majority of 7,353 votes.

When approached Mustapa, who is Higher Education Minister, said he was confident of winning the seat which he first won in the 1995 general election.

In the 2004 election, Mustapa won both the parliamentary seat and the Air Lanas state seat.

Mustapa also hoped that the Kelantanese could give BN the mandate to rule Kelantan after being under Pas for 18 years so that BN development projects in the state could be implemented more smoothly.

Meanwhile, the smooth process in the nomination centre was slightly interrupted when confusion arose between the candidates from Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, which had formed a pact to challenge BN. Both candidates had submitted their nomination papers.

However after the objection period lapsed, Pas candidate Mat Rashid Mat Jais withdrew to enable PKR Mat Sulaiman Daud to contest in a straight fight with BN candidate Abdul Aziz Derashid who is the incumbent.

Mat Rashid told reporters that he withdrew voluntarily, adding that that he submitted the nomination paper as a replacement candidate to ensure that the seat would not be won uncontested.

In Ketereh, Umno Kelantan liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Annuar Musa, 52, who is contesting in the Ketereh parliamentary seat, is in a straight fight with PKR candidate Ab Aziz Ab Kadir, 45, Annuar, who contested in the Kok Lanas state seat in the 2004 general election changed place with Umno Kelantan Information chief Datuk Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad.

Mohd Alwi, 52, will be challenged by former Umno Kelantan leader Datuk Ahmad Rosli Ibrahim, who is representing Pas in Kok Lanas. In Gua Musang, veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is also one of the longest serving member of parliament since 1974, will face Pas candidate Dr Zulkefli Mohamed.

In the 2004 election, Tengku Razaleigh defeated Dr Zulkefli with a 6,598 majority votes.

Speaking to reporters, "Ku Li" as he is popularly known said that in this election he intended to present a gift to BN supporters by getting a bigger majority.

He said that BN also has a good chance to take over Kelantan from Pas which has ruled since 1990.

"In fact the rakyat is now fed up with Pas which has failed to develop the state for 18 years," he said. He said that BN was capable of bringing development to the state as even now it had implemented the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).



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