RAUB,. As the general election campaign passes its halfway point, the battle is entering the heart of the “enemy’s domain”.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak focused his attention squarely on his home state of Pahang, touring Labis and Raub as his main rival Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad swept into Kuantan and Najib’s lair of Pekan.
Today, Najib will mount a counter-attack of sorts, flying into Langkawi where the Pakatan Harapan chairman is standing for election.
The targets in Pahang are the Felda settlements, which can be found in 12 of Pahang’s 14 parliament seats and 27 of its 42 state seats, making the state a valuable Malay vote bank.
The main hall of the campus, where the event was held, overflowed with people.
Many more stood patiently under tents outside in the hot weather.
The line of cars and motorcycles parked along a narrow road leading to the venue stretched for nearly 1km.
Appearing relaxed and cheerful, Najib said he was happy to return to Raub.
“As a son of Pahang, I return to Raub,” the Prime Minister declared to loud cheers.
He appealed to voters from all races to support Barisan Nasional candidates.
“This is because the coalition practises muafakat or cooperation so that all the races are represented.
“If Umno and Malays here support MCA, Umno candidates will get MCA support in other places,” he added.
MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is the Barisan candidate in the Raub parliamentary constituency and is locked in a three-way battle for the seat, which DAP won in 2013.
She is up against Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji (PH-DAP) and Mohamed Nilam Abdul Manap (PAS).
Within the Raub parliament seat are the state seats of Batu Talam, Tras and Dong.
DAP currently holds the Raub parliamentary seat and the Tras state seat, while Barisan holds the Batu Talam and Dong state seats.
Najib said the elections were not just a contest of local candidates.
“We don’t only want small victories, but the big war as well so that a strong Government can defend institutions such as UiTM,” he said.
He said no party other than Barisan could be trusted to protect such institutions.
“The others have no such agenda to protect UiTM. Can you rely on people like (DAP’s) Nga Kor Ming, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and the others?
“You cannot. Don’t be fooled again, make sure Barisan candidates win,” Najib added.
Later in Lipis, he reminded the people that the general election was a serious business of evaluating and electing governments at the state and federal levels.
In his address prior to opening the new fire and rescue station in Sungai Koyan here, the Prime Minister said it was important to elect a party that could form a strong government so that the national administration could continue to function without any disruption.
Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Pahang Housing and Municipal Committee chairman and BN candidate for the Jelai state seat Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Fire and Rescue Department deputy director-general (development) Datuk Amer Yusof attended the event.
Also present were Datuk C. Sivarraajh and Leong Tack Mun, the BN candidates for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat and the Tanah Rata state seat respectively.