Sungai Bakap candidates go door-to-door to win votes

Dr Joohari Ariffin is the Pakatan Harapan candidate for Sungai Bakap. – Facebook pic, June 24, 2024.

SUNGAI Bakap by-election candidates in Nibong Tebal have opted to knock on doors to meet and chat with the voters of the semi-rural seat.

As national leaders head back to the capital for the next parliament session, campaigning has been left to state and local leaders.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin has been visible in Sungai Duri enclave, a PAS stronghold bordering Kulim, which the previous PH candidate Nurhidayah Che Ros lost.

PAS candidate Abidin Ismail seems slower off the blocks. Penang PAS secretary Iszuree Ismail said Abidin is well-known in the area, having worked as a personal assistant to the incumbent Nor Zamri Latiff, whose death resulted in the polls.

Abidin has downplayed an incorrect statement from PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who said the PN candidate was a logistics executive with an ISO 14001 for Environmental Management System certificate. ISO is an accreditation for companies, not individuals.

PH has pointed out the error and compared the educational qualifications of Joohari, who has a PhD from Universiti Sains Malaysia , and Abidin, who only has a secondary school certificate.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammed Sanusi Md No has emphasised political relevance over academic achievements.

USM political scientist Datuk Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said a win for PAS in Sungai Bakap is important to demonstrate that the green wave still exists. It is a Malay heartland seat, where close to 60% of the residents are Malay.

Sivamurugan said PKR is struggling for relevance in the seat while its partner wishes to establish better control of the state it has governed since 2008.

Sungai Bakap is considered a PAS stronghold as the constituency borders Kedah, where the Islamist party is most dominant.

There are 39,279 names in the Sungai Bakap electorial roll, 39,222 of whom are regular voters and 57 police officers. A total of 522 election workers will manage the by-election process, while over 600 police officers will be deployed to ensure security.

In the Penang elections last August, Nor Zamri, who was also the Nibong Tebal PAS chief, defeated Nurhidayah by 1,563 votes.

The Sungai Bakap polls is the eighth by-election to be held after the 2022 general election. – June 24, 2024.

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