Deportations, sudden fogging, court schedules, even faulty electrical units have plagued Pakatan Rakyat's bid to win votes in the Balingian by-elections and a party rep is calling it “sabotage.”
In a press statement, Perak DAP state assemblyperson Howard Lee Chuan How has questioned whether "hidden hands" were zealously preventing crowds from attending Pakatan rallies in Mukah.
However he claimed that PKR candidate Abdul Jalil Bujang has reaped positive response, despite the stacked odds in Balingian.
"The road ahead may not be very long, but it definitely is hard. But I, along with our Pakatan comrades will press on; brick by brick, block by block, calloused hand by calloused hand to deny the BN hegemony," Lee said of his experience after visiting Mukah this week.
Balingian has been represented by ex-Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud since 2001 until he quit as CM after 33 years in power to become governor. PKR's Abdul Jalil is facing off against BN's Yussibnosh Balo on polling day set for Saturday.
DAP's Lee noted that on one afternoon alone - PKR faced "a myriad of problems" to hold a rally at Boulevard Setia Raja, where PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) was the anchor speaker.
But Anwar was suddenly called to appear in the Federal Court the next day and therefore had to speak earlier than scheduled.
Then the campaign team also discovered a "badly destroyed electrical transformer" which they suspected was meant to trigger a blackout.
Meanwhile, a private contractor decided to suddenly carry out "fogging" activities right at the assembly spot. The fogging team agreed to stop after some negotiations. Lee claimed that no 14-day notice - the usual requirement - was given for the fogging the area for eateries.
"This are the happenings in one afternoon of the twelve days of campaign, in one of the 21 voting districts in the constituency," Lee reported.
He said that despite the obstacles, the ceramah had attracted a "never before seen crowd of over 2,000 Pakatan supporters."
Earlier this week, at three PKR MPs - Rafizi Ramli (left), Saifuddin Nasution and Tian Chua - were stopped from entering Sarawak and deported upon arrival.
Lee further claimed that gangsters tailed the Pakatan reps on their door-to-door campaign and used many other "undemocratic, uncivilised and un-Malaysian" ways to stop them from making inroads into the BN stronghold.
The Balingian seat has 13,366 registered voters. In the last election, PKR’s candidate Suriati Abdullah obtained 871 votes against Taib, who secured 6,210 votes in a three-cornered fight.