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As campaigning draws to a close, Tambun voters still torn between Anwar and Faizal

They say too many factors are at play in deciding whether to support the PKR president or the Bersatu deputy president.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
3 minute read
A billboard put up by Perikatan Nasional's Ahmad Faizal Azumu (left), in an apparent jibe at a nearby poster of Pakatan Harapan's Anwar Ibrahim in the war of campaigns ahead of election day.
A billboard put up by Perikatan Nasional's Ahmad Faizal Azumu (left), in an apparent jibe at a nearby poster of Pakatan Harapan's Anwar Ibrahim in the war of campaigns ahead of election day.

With under 48 hours left before the end of the campaign period, candidates throughout the country have switched to high gear – but in the hot seat of Tambun, it is still anyone's guess who will win the race for support: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim or Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

The voters themselves are still undecided on whose name to mark when polling opens on Nov 19, saying there are too many factors at play. 

Dentist Lily Heng said she was not familiar with Faizal, who is contesting under the Perikatan Nasional banner, as she had only just been automatically registered to vote in Tambun.

Heng, 32, said this made it difficult for her to benchmark his performance at the upcoming election. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, she said she had never voted before as she had always been busy with other matters. 

"I'm busy at my clinic," she said. "I haven't had enough time to get to know the representatives in Tambun.

"But I know PN's prime minister candidate, Muhyiddin Yassin. I liked the way he handled the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"I might vote based on the candidate for prime minister," she added. "MPs, I don't really care. They're all the same." 

Heng said many patients who came to her clinic were excited about Anwar contesting in Tambun. 

She herself is indifferent. 

She said she and her family had never liked coalitions which promised the moon and the stars without ever fulfilling their vows. 

She said her father had also told her that not all Chinese support DAP as they do not want to be fooled by its leaders. 

"That's what my father said. I don't know because I never voted before," she said. 

More than 1,300 candidates are competing for support throughout the country, the most ever recorded in Malaysia's election history. 

Early voting was held on Nov 15, with 212,961 voters or nearly 95% turning out to cast their ballots. 

Another voter, Nizam, said his neighbours in Taman Sri Tambun appeared to prefer Anwar as their MP. 

Nizam himself, who turned 25 this year, said he was still hesitant after witnessing the instability that marked PH's 22 months in power after the 2018 general election. 

For him, the most important thing is to protect the Malay sensitivities, including issues such as the use of Jawi in textbooks and the Malay rulers. 

"When I think back about those things, I distance myself from PH," he said. 

"But I haven't decided yet. My friends have their opinions and so do my family members. I don't know who I will vote for yet." 

At the PH and PN operations rooms, both camps were confident of winning the majority of votes.

An election worker at the PH operations room in Gugusan Manjoi said it was still too early to put Anwar in the lead as the votes of those working outside of the state were still a mystery. 

"There are a lot of them, and we don't know how well they have accepted us," the worker said. 

"We think they may be leaning towards us. But they could also support Faizal, or an underdog candidate. 

"The predictions and data are there, but they are still just predictions. Anything could happen. Let's wait and see."