GUA MUSANG: Both PAS and Barisan Nasional are making a final attempt to woo undecided voters with the former holding one last ceramah as campaigning enters into its final hours.
Heavy downpour, however, had disrupted Pas' last bid to convince the local electorate that Galas must remain with the Islamist party.
But that did not prevent PAS and its allies from bringing in national leaders like DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and PAS central working committee member Dr Hatta Ramli onto the stump.
For Galas, which falls under the semi-urban Gua Musang parliamentary seat, the core issue is land, and, to a certain extent, development.
In the speeches of Pakatan Rakayt leaders tonight, they touched on what mattered most for the locals – land titles – and urged voters to be pragmatic.
On land, the leaders drove home the point that state governments have legal power over land matters and that means only the Kelantan government can resolve any outstanding issues concerning land.
By urging pragmatism, Pakatan hopes voters would cast their ballots for PAS' Dr Zulkefli Mohamad, a medical practitioner, who faces Umno Gua Musang division secretary Abdul Aziz Yusof.
No big projects
BN, on the other hand, has chosen an uncharacteristically "quiet" approach – busying its campaign with ministerial programmes while relatively staying away from holding ceramah.
BN, led by its election director, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, has distanced itself from the usual anouncement of "big projects” that traditionally characterise its electoral campaign.
Instead, it is betting on the presence of its heavyweights on the last day of campaigning. Today saw Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin making his final round in Galas.
Others like Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Wanita chief and Women, Community and Family Affairs Minister Shahrizat Jalil and Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen were also present.
Given total control over BN's direction, Razaleigh, who is Gua Musang MP and Umno division chief, has set a rather sheepish tempo. The meek pace mirrors Razaleigh's own "gentleman-like" personality, observers and foes say.
PAS has not fully capitalised on this for a practical reason: the Kelantan prince is a commodity for the party which controls Kelantan. His support for Kelantan's right to oil royalty of which the BN-controlled federal government has rejected makes it important for PAS not to upset him.
Of course, Razaleigh, affectionately known as Ku Li, has no control over everything. The MCA has harped on issues it felt was dear to the 20% Chinese voters. It accused PAS of Islamic extremism which was a threat to the Chinese way of life.
But a check around the sleepy town proved otherwise. Chinese restaurants are free to sell pork and beers too. Temples are seen everywhere and Chinese schools, perhaps one of the most important issues to the local Chinese here, are freely built.
Will BN win?
Nine days of campaigning ended today but both sides remain cautious with their projections.
An independent survey showed BN is leading the race by a narrow margin, 22% to 15%, as of yesterday but PAS is not too worried about the latest figure.
Muhyiddin, however, said confidently this afternoon that BN will win with a big majority, but PAS has maintained that the game is not over until the fat lady sings.
Either way, both sides concurred that a victory to either side will not change anything, given that PAS already controls 37 seats in the 45-seat state legislative assembly.
Those who disagreed felt that the outcome of Galas by-election is important for the opposition bloc as it faces a possible snap polls on the national stage.