PH’s candidate on the campaign trail
Published on: Monday, February 18, 2019

SEMENYIH: Muhammad Aiman Zainali was a busy man on Sunday, a day after he was officially announced by the Election Commission (EC) as among the four candidates vying for the Semenyih state seat.

Standing for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the March 2 by-election, the 30-year-old engineer and treasurer of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Hulu Langat Division figuratively rolled up his sleeves and plunged headlong into the campaign trail.

Shoppers and traders at the Semenyih and Beranang morning markets were among his targets, approaching them confidently with a message that he would need their support to win the by-election that is being called following the death of assemblyman, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, 57, of PH, of a heart attack on Jan 11.

Besides PH, also in the fray are Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and an independent.

Muhammad Aiman’s easygoing nature and ready smile was a plus as he worked his way through the markets, obliging people’s requests for a selfie with him.

Muhammad Aiman told reporters at the Semenyih morning market that he was familiar with the area and that he practically grew up there.

”When I was young I would often follow my grandmother to this market as we were living only about two kilometres from here. That’s why a lot of traders and shoppers are familiar with me,” said the father-of-one as people, including among the elderly, approached him to say hello.

A former kuih seller,  Salim Mad Isa, 70, said Muhammad Aiman used to buy kuih from him when he was a young boy.

“I’m confident that if he wins the by-election, he’ll be a good and sympathetic leader as he understands how people live here as well as their problems,” he said.

And party workers who accompanied Muhammad Aiman were there to ensure just that, as they distributed party-related pamphlets that contained, among others, his profile, reminding them to vote for the PH candidate come March 2 as well.

Also on Muhammad Aiman’s itinerary were visiting the sick and elderly and a walkabout at a prominent hypermarket here.

Zawiah Kamaruddin, 56, who operates a food stall at the Beranang morning market, said opting for a young candidate was a smart move on the part of PH as the Semenyih constituency needed someone who was a go-getter and energetic.

“Being young and somewhat lacking in experience for me is not a big issue as I believe that people will gain experience over the years and learn things bit by bit. What’s important is his commitment,” she said.

Zawiah, who expressed confidence that PH would retain the seat, said the party should take the opportunity during the campaigning period to enlighten the people about issues that had cropped up.

BN has nominated Zakaria Hanafi, 58, the permanent chairman of the Kampung Sesepan Kelubi Umno Branch and PSM, its youth wing central committee member Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25. The independent candidate is social activist Kuan Chee Heng, better known as Uncle Kentang.

The Semenyih constituency has 54,503 registered voters, comprising 53,520 ordinary voters, 951 early voters and 32 absentee voters.

In last May general election, the late Bakhtiar polled 23,428 votes to beat three other candidates – Datuk Johan Abd Aziz (BN), Mad Shahmidur Mat Kosim (PAS) and S. Arutchelvan (PSM) – to win with a majority of 8,964 votes. – Bernama



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