Bentong voters excited over Young Syefura

Kalidevi Mogan Kumarappa

Bentong voters are excited over DAP candidate Young Syefura Othman being named as incumbent Wong Tack's replacement for the November 19 general election. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 4, 2022.

BENTONG voters are excited over DAP candidate Young Syefura Othman being named as incumbent Wong Tack’s replacement for the November 19 general election. 
They told The Malaysian Insight that her candidacy suited those who were hoping for someone new to take care of their welfare. 
Former commissioner of oaths Ow Wan Sang, 75, said young candidates like Young Syefura Othman would resonate well with voters.  
“Young Syefura, who we also call YB Rara, is not only young, but hardworking. Since she became an assemblywoman (for Ketari), she has proven that she can be relied on. 
“She goes everywhere, regardless of fires, floods, clogged drains; she will go and help solve problems immediately,” said the Bentong native. 
Ow hoped that Young Syefura would perform better than Wong Tack, whom he said was not in Bentong regularly. 
“The incumbent Wong Tack is not often in his office and rarely speaks in parliament, people have been watching for a long time. But YB Rara is always there in her office. 
“In my own experience, I got help from the federal government because of her assistance. 
“Because of that, I prefer young leaders like YB Rara to be the member of parliament for Bentong,” he said. 

Former commissioner of oaths Ow Wan Sang says young candidates like Young Syefura Othman would resonate well with voters. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 4, 2022.
First-time voter Nur Alia Abdullah, 21, said young voters like herself preferred young leaders like Young Syefura. 
“Young voters like me definitely want to see new faces, not only in Bentong. It is also the wish of many friends my age. 
“I was excited when Rara was nominated as the DAP candidate for Bentong. 
“She is beautiful, hardworking, quick to offer help—even clogged drains were solved immediately. Before that we complained numerous times but still it was not resolved,” said the convenience store worker. 
Nur Alia said young leaders were more energetic and less exposed to corruption and could bring reform to the area. 
Candidate’s personality important 
Bicycle shop owner Kong Moon Sin said he was more attracted to Young Syefura’s personality than Wong’s even though both are from DAP. 
“For example, former MP Wong Tack and Rara are from the same party but in terms of personality, Rara will be my choice. 
“Candidates with good morals, corruption-free, people-friendly and hardworking should be our choice, regardless of whether he or she is from the same party,” said Kong, 50. 
The opinion is shared by another young voter Phoon Zsi Kei, 19, who wants the elected candidate to be able to implement the party manifesto and promises. 
“We need candidates who are clean (corruption-free) and if possible young ones,” said Phoon, who runs a food business with his family. 
Housewife Masdira Rasuhaidi said a leader who cared about the welfare of voters should be elected regardless of his or her party. 
“For me, the elected candidate needs to care about the welfare of the people in this area. It doesn’t matter DAP, Barisan Nasional, independent or PAS. 
“If the people have problems, they have to be on the ground quickly, especially during calamities such as floods. 
“In addition, the lawmaker needs to be diligent in carrying out activities with the people to establish friendships and be more approachable to the people,” she said. 

Bicycle shop owner Kong Moon Sin says he is more attracted to Young Syefura's personality than Wong's even though both are from DAP. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 4, 2022.
Another voter Mohd Syahriman Sa’ari, 36, described DAP’s move to feature Young Syefura as an advantage to attract voter support, especially Malay voters. 
The GE14 data showed that Malays formed the largest group of voters, about 46%, followed by Chinese (42%) and Indians (about 9%) in Bentong. 
That figure is expected to change in the coming general election after taking into account automatic registration and Undi18. 
“The new candidate is not necessarily an unknown face, like Rara is known as the Ketari assemblywoman but is new to Bentong. 
“People like her can bring progress here. I am confident that young leaders will attract new voters as well as veterans who have lost hope with old leaders.” 
Bentong needs development 
When asked about development, Mohd Syahriman said Bentong, which is now a tourist attraction, needs to be developed along with other cities. 
“We still have abandoned shopping centers in town; fast food restaurant branches need to be diversified and parking spaces need to be increased. 
“When there are many new facilities, more businesses will open branches here in addition to increasing job opportunities for the people of Bentong,” he said. 
Young Syefura, who is also the first-term Ketari state rep, will face a challenge from former Bentong strongman Liow Tiong Lai. 
The former minister and ex-MCA president was defeated by Wong Tack in the last general election by about 2,000 votes. 
Wong Tack, meanwhile, will be contesting as an independent in his attempt to retain the seat. – November 4, 2022.  

Housewife Masdira Rasuhaidi says a leader who cares about the welfare of voters should be elected regardless of his or her party. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 4, 2022.

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