During nomination process this morning, the Barisan Nasional (BN) team was led by Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
MCA youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also BN deputy chairman, would only be in Merlimau on Monday.
"Yes, it's just us today. But it is good enough. This (group) is sufficient to show our support and get the works on the ground going," he said to reporters at Merlimau Polytechnic, the nomination centre.
He said the Jan 30 Tenang by-election's victory showed that the people's confidence on BN is returning and the party is confident not just in retaining the seat but also with a good margin.
Meanwhile, PAS leaders felt although it is a BN stronghold, "surprises can happen."
"We have admitted and said that we recognise this as one of the BN strongholds but it does not mean we should give up or work less hard," PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said.
"Efforts have been strengthened and our works are mainly with the villagers and low-income households because that is where more help is needed," he added.
Among the Pakatan Rakyat leaders present at the nomination centre are PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
"PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is at Kerdau. The team has to be split since we have two by-elections at the same time. Nevertheless, it does not mean we are focusing less here," Mustafa said.
He said there are at least 7,000 over supporters from all over the country to campaign for its candidate, adding both the by-elections are important and there would be equal focus at both ends.
The stage has been set for a straight fight between BN's Roslan Ahmad and PAS' Yuhaizad Abdullah in the Merlimau by-election on March 6.
Earlier in the day, police barriers have been set to clear the way into the Platinum Hall of the poytechnic, where the nominations were held, and also to prevent and control any fracas between the supporters.
BN and PAS supporters were separated by a 50m barrier outside the centre.
Calm and collected, PAS supporters marched with flags and banners like "Kini masa berubah. Orang muda geng kita" and "Bantah BN dan banteras rasuah."
Whereas, BN supporters marched in to the "Inilah Barisan Kita" patriotic song.
Yuhaizad, who pledged his service to the people in the constituency said whether there is victory or not, his main duty is to touch base with the people.
Not mentioning any plans for the constituency, he said he will do his best to help the low-income community to develop their lifestyle.
Roslan on the other hand said he has his own capability to attract voters and gain support and did not think of using the influence of his father Ahmad Ithnin who is the former Sungai Rambai assemblyman.
He said with the help of the BN machinery he is sure to win.
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