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PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with PH Rantau by-election candidate Dr S Streram meet supporters during the nomination process at Dewan SJKC Sri Sendayan, Negri Sembilan. - NSTP/SAIFULLIZAN TAMADI.

SEREMBAN: Pakatan Harapan will not utilise government machinery to garner the support of voters in the Rantau by-election.

PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in giving this assurance, said instead the pact will engage voters and explain to them on the efforts taken by the government to develop the nation.

He said checks had shown that Negri Sembilan was developing more progressively now compared to the Barisan Nasional era.

"I will take into account the proper considerations, such as, by ensuring that we are not rash (in our campaign) and will not in any way use government vehicles,” Anwar told reporters after attending the Rantau by-election nomination process near here today.

The Port Dickson Member of Parliament also said that he was also aware of Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) allegation that PH had committed an election offence, even before the Rantau by-election.

This was after Bersih 2.0 questioned as to whether the move by Miri member of Parliament Michael Teo to provide RM75,000 worth of food coupons to 300 underprivileged students from five schools in Rantau amounted to an offence of treating.

PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail called upon Rantau voters to give the mandate to Dr S. Streram whose right to contest in the polls was denied in the 14th General Election.

"Give victory to our candidate as PH wants justice, and such justice could in turn be provided for the people," she said.

Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin advised PH not to take the defensive approach when it campaigns in the by-election.

Instead, the Home Minister wants the PH election machinery to engage the voters and provide them with the necessary explanation on issues and matters which had been distorted by the opposition.

"What the opposition had done, in the end, it had led to a misunderstanding among the people. As such the Rantau by-election is an opportunity for us to provide the necessary explanation.

"We should not be too defensive in our approach. Instead we should explain the benefits that could be derived from the development efforts pioneered by the current government," he said.

DAP Vice-President, M Kulasegaran described PH candidate Streram as being the underdog compared to Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan who as former menteri besar had all this while received the trust of the voters in the Rantau constituency.

The Human Resources Minister also acknowledged that it would not be an easy task to wrest the Rantau state seat from BN.

"What we request is that for all quarters to speak the truth. Do not use religious and racial issues to the extent that it confuses the people.

The Rantau by-election will see a four-cornered fight involving BN's Mohamad, Dr Streram, and independent candidates Malar Rajaram and Mohd Nor Yassin.

Polling day for the by-election has been set for April 13, with early voting being held four days earlier.

The by-election was called after the Federal Court dismissed an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside an Election Court decision to declare his victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void.

Mohamad had won the seat uncontested in May 2018 after Dr Streram was unable to submit his nomination papers after being denied entry into the nomination centre for not having a pass issued by the EC.

The seat has 20,926 registered voters, including 118 early voters and four absentee voters.

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