Malaysia Indicator continues to monitor the Rantau by-election as its nomination day approaches, which is 30 March 2019.
As of today, the by-election is set to be a direct battle between UMNO acting president Mohamad Hasan and PKR Dr. Streram, who was denied from contesting back in GE-14.
Undoubtedly, Streram is seen as the ‘underdog’ as Hasan holds a strong portfolio. The latter is a former Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan who has been the Rantau incumbent since 2004. It is also interesting to note that Malays makes up 54% of the electorate in Rantau (as of 2018). With the recent development of racial politics and UMNO-PAS collaboration, it will be an uphill battle for Streram.
Looking at the influencers of Rantau in the past week, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim takes the number one position, actively addressing the by-election with 100 statements. It seems like Anwar plays the role of a “spokesperson” for Streram while the candidate himself is not that active in marketing himself as the by-election approaches, appearing with only 19 statements in the past week.
However, that is also the case for Mohamad Hasan. Despite being the “stronger” candidate, he seems to be absent when it comes to the by-election as he did not appear in the top 10 influencers list.
Nevertheless, the Rantau by-election is set to take place on April 13. Maybe because of the recent tragedies at Pasir Gudang and Christchurch, politicians are avoiding addressing on the by-election for the time being.
Yet, there is still some noise from the PKR side. Is Mohamad Hasan that confident in defending his Rantau seat?