Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Out-of-state Kelantan voters courted

Barisan Nasional believes that the key to capture Kelantan lies with its voters who are currently working or living in other states.

Its youth wing has launched a campaign called "Pakat Kelik Ngundi" (Let's Go Home to Vote) to get more than 50,000 Kelantanese to return home to vote.

Speaking at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday, BN Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said outstation voters would determine whether BN recaptures the state, which has been controlled by Pas for the past 18 years.

"Pas had won many seats in 2004 with very slim majorities, and I think we could have won the state if we had paid more attention to the voters from outstation.

"We will not repeat the mistake this time and we will ensure that we improve on our performance."

He said research had shown that about 50,000 voters registered in Kelantan were living elsewhere, with 60 per cent of them in the Klang Valley.

"They make up a large bulk of voters and are very influential.

"When they, with their experience and education, go home and say that they are ready for a change, they will convince their parents and siblings to do the same."

An operations centre, equipped with telephone and fax lines, as well as mobile and SMS contacts, has been set up in the PWTC here to cater to Kelantanese voters.

"Those who would like to know about voting districts, areas and centres, or transportation schedules and assistance on polling day should come to the centre.

"It doesn't matter whether you are a BN supporter or a fence sitter. This is a free service by Kelantan BN youth to encourage voters to go home and vote," said Khairy.

The centre aimed to ensure voters were empowered to make a change in Kelantan, he added.

"They need to know that the power to change Kelantan politically, economically and socially is in their hands.

"The mood in Kelantan shows that the people want a change and we want to tell voters that the opportunity for change is here."

The BN Youth also launched a colloquial Kelantanese campaign slogan called "Pade Doh!!", which loosely translates to "It is enough!!"

"It also has the number 18 on it, symbolising the 18 years that Pas ruled the state.

"Enough is enough. Eighteen years of empty promises, 18 years without change, 18 years without investments, 18 years of stealing timber, 18 years of bribery, 18 years of swindling. That is what Pas has done and it is enough," Khairy stressed.

Khairy said plans were being proposed to bring sweeping changes to the state if the BN comes into power.

"We will make changes that would include sports, religion, social strata and the economy.

"It is not just about empty slogans and an identity change, but a special proposal that BN Youth will push if we capture the state."