The upcoming battle for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency in Johor will be dominated by national issues instead of those affecting the local populace, according to Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub.
In their bid to wrest the seat from Pakatan Harapan, he predicted that the Umno-PAS alliance would campaign on race and religion to win over Malay-Muslim voters, who make up 57 percent of the electorate.
Salahuddin, who is also agriculture and agro-based industries minister, said the contest would serve as a litmus test for the marriage between Umno-and PAS, who formalised their cooperation on Sept 14.
He also conceded that the by-election would be a crucial test for Harapan as well in light of mounting disgruntlement towards the coalition.
However, the Amanah leader is confident that voters would make a wise decision due to the sterling record of former Tanjung Piai MP Dr Md Farid Md Rafik.
“As for MCA, I am confident they too want to test the support for their party since they claimed that Chinese voters are now back with BN.
“So this election will be a 'test ground' for MCA because this area (Tanjung Piai) had 41.6 percent of Chinese voters,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
Salahuddin, who is Johor Harapan's election director, was speaking at a press conference at the Pulai Sebatang assemblyperson's service centre in Pontian.
The Election Commission will be meeting next Tuesday to decide on the dates for the nomination, campaign period and voting day.
The seat fell vacant following Farid's death last week.
In the last general election, Farid, who is from Bersatu, defeated the then incumbent Wee Jeck Seng with a slim majority of 524 votes.