SYAHIR Sulaiman was a vice-president at the property division of a plantation giant while Bakri Jamaluddin was a director at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
Both men were among the PAS newcomers who propelled the party to win 43 parliamentary seats in the general election.
Syahir, political secretary to PAS president, emerged tops in the Bachok parliamentary seat in Kelantan, while Bakri won in Tangga Batu, Malacca.
The two technocrats were among the Islamist party’s largely theocratic candidates who made up the slate, which saw many top leaders from both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) fall in the general election.
Perak PAS deputy commissioner Misbahul Munir Masduki made it to parliament on his first tilt at a seat, after a series of mixed-result contests for state seats over the last two decades.
He took out Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa for the Parit Buntar seat the latter, who is former religious affairs minister, held for three terms.
Universiti Teknologi Mara academic Siti Mastura Muhammad also made history when she captured the Kepala Batas seat in Penang, ending BN’s 48-year grip on the seat. The incumbent was caretaker housing and local government minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
Among Kepala Batas’ most illustrious MPs in the past was former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
PAS recorded its best performance in the November 19 general election.
As a single party, PAS won the most seats (43) out of 222 parliamentary seats.
Seventeen of the 43 parliamentary seats were won by first-time candidates.
Political analyst Mazlan Ali attributed the stunning win to the newcomers and two other factors – BN supporters who shifted allegiance to Perikatan Nasional (PN) and young voters.
“This shift and the young voters made the difference. It would explain its (PAS’) comprehensive wins,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Ilham Centre executive director Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar said PN had leveraged on social media platforms like TikTok and reeled in this group of voters.
“PAS had also benefited from the internal fighting in BN, which left the latter’s machinery not running as efficiently as it had in previous elections.
He noted that PAS’ strength had also benefited its newbies as the party had come to be perceived as relatively clean and as one that stands for Islam.
Here are the backgrounds of PAS’ new representatives:
Wan Razali Wan Nor defeated three-term MP Fuziah Salleh by 2,800 votes.
He has served as Pahang channel manager for Pos Malaysia Bhd and the state’s business development officer in Takaful Malaysia Bhd.
In the party, Wan Razali is information technology and data director, and is Kuantan election director.
Salamiah Mohd Nor won a three-cornered contest, defeating PH candidate Mohd Hasbie Muda and BN candidate Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin by 5,520 votes.
The seat was previously held by Amanah leader Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir.
The former teacher served 10 years at various schools in Pahang, including SMJK Hwa Lian, Mentakab, and SMK Paya Pulai, Temerloh.
Perlis-born Rushdan Rusmi won the seat with a majority of 12,514 votes in a five-cornered contest.
He became state director for Khidmat Malaysia, a rescue and disaster recovery agency under PAS, and is the founder of Ibnu Agil Islamic Education Foundation.
At party level, Rusdan, who is also the owner of biomedical company 4U-Tech Corporation Sdn Bhd, is a Selangor liaison committee member and deputy chairman of the Shah Alam division.
Abdul Ghani Ahmad made waves by defeating Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir with a majority of 20,456 votes.
He was PAS’ Ayer Hitam assemblyman for two terms in 1999 and 2008.
Nurul Amin Hamid, former senior special officer to Kedah menteri besar, defeated Umno giant Mahdzir Khalid by almost 11,000 votes.
The Kedah PAS Youth leader graduated with a bachelor’s degree in usuluddin from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, and was once a professor.
Ahmad Yahaya defeated incumbent Mahfuz Omar by more than 31,700 votes.
In the party, he heads the central ulama council and is the party’s Kedah commissioner.
He had previously been a representative for Alor Mengkudu in 2013, but lost to PH’s Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi (PH) in 2018.
Ahmad Fakhruddin Sheikh Fakhruraz won by 28,061 votes in the five-cornered contest.
He graduated with a doctorate in sharia from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a master of comparative law from the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia.
Siti Mastura Muhammad’s victory ended BN’s 48-year hold on the parliamentary seat.
She defeated incumbent Reezal Merican by more than 2,800 votes.
The former Universiti Teknologi Mara lecturer graduated from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, with a degree and a doctorate from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan’s victory at the PH stronghold by defeating his challenger Nurul Izzah Anwar by 5,272 votes stunned the nation.
The parliamentary seat had been held for generations by the family of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Fawwaz is a preacher who is also chief executive officer of Yayasan Darul Hadis Al-Filfilaniyyah. He is Penang PAS Youth chief.
Misbahul Munir Masduki defeated incumbent, Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa, by almost 5,400 votes in a four-cornered contest.
The leader of the civil society group Regional Dakwah Center is a member of the party’s central ulama council, deputy commissioner of Perak PAS, and commissioner of Bagan Datuk PAS.
Muhammad Ismi Mat Taib defeated incumbent, BN’s Mohd Nizar Zakaria, by only 2,155 votes.
He is an entrepreneur and preacher who holds a master’s degree in usuluddin Al-Quran and hadith from the Universiti Malaya and a bachelor’s degree in Arabic from the University of Jordan.
Jamaluddin Yahya, an imam, defeated three opponents including BN’s Khairul Azwan Harun by 5,003 votes.
Hasnizan Harun won the parliamentary seat in a fierce six-cornered fight with an advantage of only 1,562 votes.
The businessman once served as a member of the Hulu Selangor District Council, when PAS was part of Pakatan Rakyat.
Bakri Jamaluddin won with a majority of 8,849 votes, defeating the incumbent, PH’s Rusnah Aluai.
Bakri has logged 34 years in the corporate field and palm oil industry, including as director of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
He is also a committee member of the Mechanisation and Automation Research Consortium of Oil Palm and a member of the East Kalimantan Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association.
Zulkifli Ismail took over the seat in the BN stronghold, a feat never before seen since the seat was created.
He won with a very slim majority of 322 votes, defeating BN’s Roslan Ahmad, PH’s Harun Mohamed and Pejuang’s Mohd Daud Nasir.
The Malacca PAS commissioner is the founder of Pondok Baitul Qurro’ Wal Fuqoha and a member of the party’s ulama council.
Mumtaz Md Nawi defeated incumbent Che Abdullah Mat Nawi, who contested on a BN ticket, by 34,793 votes.
The vice-chief of PAS’ women’s wing is former Demit assemblyman and women, family and community development exco in Kelantan.
Syahir Sulaiman won a five-cornered contest by 29,901 votes.
The political secretary to the PAS president obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia and a master’s degree in development studies from Universiti Malaya.
He left his last position as assistant vice-president at Sime Darby Property after his appointment as Abdul Hadi Awang’s political secretary in 2018. – November 28, 2022.