Front ‘confident of two-thirds majority’

MALAYSIA’s National Front (NF) coalition had a “bright chance” of securing a two-thirds majority in the coming general election but was unsure of its prospects in the Parti Islam-controlled Kelantan, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

“All indicators and prognostications point in the direction of a victory,” he told reporters at a press conference in Singapore after receiving the Republic’s highest military award. Datuk Najib, who is also Defence Minister, is in Singapore on a two-day official visit.

He said most Malaysians wanted the incumbent government to continue because of its policies.

“They want a continuation of a successful government,” he said. “The government has been able to deliver. That is the key.”

He said that there were “high expectations and confidence” that the NF would secure a two-thirds majority. The coalition government secured 54.2 per cent of the votes in the last general election in 1990.

He added that while the NF was confident of nationwide victory at the polls, it was still uncertain of its chances in Kelantan.

“The only question is whether we can retake Kelantan,” he said.

Parti Islam (PAS) now rules Kelantan in a coalition with Parti Melayu Semangat 46.

In March last year, PAS scored a vital by-election victory over the NF to retain the Lundang state seat in Kelantan.

It was the first trial of strength between the two traditional rivals since the rout suffered by Umno in Kelantan almost four years ago.

In the straight fight, the acting head of Kelantan PAS Religious Scholars Wing, Haji Muhammad Daud, polled 9,270 votes, while his opponent, Mr Nik Abdul Rahman Nik Taib, collected 5,024 votes.

PAS has prepared a 30-page party manifesto for the coming general election.

The party’s information chief, Haji Subky Latif, had said that the party had moderated its stand and would not mention the idea of an Islamic state in its election rallies.

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