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By Terence Netto

Pekan seat: In psy-war, Hadi gains a beachhead

COMMENT The least that can be said about PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's offer to stand against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in the Pekan parliamentary seat is that it has put a blow-torch to the trail of the BN supremo where previously the man was wholly impervious to challenges to set an election date and to debate.

Statue-like imperturbable was the PM before taunts from the opposition to dissolve Parliament and to set a timeline to the 13th general election; largely impassive, too, was he before the challenge of Pakatan Rakyat's head honcho, Anwar Ibrahim, to debate him.

But he can't pretend to ignore Hadi's willingness to contest him in his Pekan bailiwick and sustain confidence as drum major of a coalition that is heading into a pivotal general election; the unwritten rules of gamesmanship require that he, at least, welcomes the contest...