Friday, January 2, 2009

Abdul Wahid Endut is the Pakatan candidate for KT
by Suara Keadilan

PAS has named Abdul Wahid Endut, the state assemblyman for Wakaf Mempelam, as the Pakatan Rakyat candidate for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election.
Wahid, a rank outsider, was chosen over Batu Burok assemblyman Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi and PAS state deputy commissioner Wan Mutalib Embong.

His selection was announced by party president Abdul Hadi Awang, in a move that has been closely followed by the press and political pundits.

The news may surprise some, but Hadi has been extremely careful to play his cards close to his chest.

Well-liked and experienced

Pundits say the choice of candidate and party strategy is paramount in this crucial contest, where arch enemy Umno has thrown out a slew of election goodies and lures worth billions of ringgit in a bid to curry favour with the KT voters.

“We have gone through a rigorous selection process and we are confident that our candidate met all the qualities that the people wanted,” Hadi told a large crowd at the State Stadium late tonight.

“It was very difficult to choose the PAS candidate because all the names forwarded were good - no corruption, no money politics and no political abuse,” he said, adding that the party’s revered spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat had also endorsed Wahid’s selection.

The 52-year old Wahid is a stalwart - almost a fixture in the Terengganu political scene - having successfully defended his state seat since 1990. He is now into his fifth term, having scored a 2,193-vote majority over his Umno rival in the March 2008 general election.

Wahid is extremely well-liked by his constituents and has spoken up on a host issues plaguing the state, including corruption, controversial mega-projects such as the Monsoon Cup and Umno’s penchant for lavish state budgets - which many KT folk fear will ultimately eat into the wealth of their future generations.

The KT parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of deputy education minister Razali Ismail who beat PAS vice president Mohamad Sabu in the March polls by just 628 votes.

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