Candidates draw loud cheers

Azlan Jusoh (L) candidate for Malaysia's opposition party, and Tengku Zaihan, candidate for ruling party wave as they pose for photographers during their by-election nomination in Kuala Besut.

BESUT, MALAYSIA - A friendly encounter and handshakes between two "local boys" representing opposing sides in the Kuala Besut by-election drew loud cheers from fishermen at a Fisheries Board Complex near here.

Fishermen in the area were thrilled to see Barisan Nasional candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman and PAS candidate Endut@ Azlan Yusof exchanging greetings and pleasantries.

Both Tengku Zaihan and Azlan were in the area almost at the same time yesterday to garner support from the fishermen for the polls on July 24. Speaking to reporters later, Tengku Zaihan said claims by PAS that he was not a local were outright lies.

"I am a Kuala Besut boy. I was born here though I later went to school in Dungun and Kemaman, but that was only because I went to a boarding school," he said in reply to PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali's claims that he was unknown here as he was not local-born.

He said he had also previously served as the Besut district engineer for five years before being transferred to Putrajaya three months ago. "People know my family is from Kg Nail in Kuala Besut and I always come home to visit my family," he added.

Meanwhile, Azlan denied allegations that he would "pay" somebody to carry out his duties as assemblyman should he win in the by-election.

The allegations arose after a video recording of him saying that he would appoint somebody to represent him was uploaded on YouTube.

Azlan, however, explained that he was referring to appointing somebody to take care of his business in Kota Baru and that he was fully prepared to serve the people if he was elected.