Teenager happy to meet his idol during by-election campaign


  • Metro News
  • Monday, 11 Nov 2019

Nilavalagan gets a hug from Hishammuddin (in cap). The boy has been a long-time admirer of the Sembrong MP. Looking on are Johor MIC chairman R. Vidyanathan (second, right) and the boy’s mother Inbavally (right), who is the Pahang MIC Wanita chief.

PONTIAN: It was a happy moment for 13-year-old I. Nilavalagan when he got the chance to take a photo with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Nilavalagan has been a big fan of the Sembrong MP for many years, especially when he was Defence Minister from 2013-2018.

The shy boy was trailing his mother, Inbavally Rengganathan, 50, from Pahang together with an entourage of Barisan Nasional leaders and members during a walkabout at the Taman Utama night market in Pekan Nanas on Saturday evening.

Hishammuddin was one of several Barisan leaders who have dropped by to campaign for its candidate, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, in the Tanjung Piai by-election. Polling day is Nov 16.

Seeing his long-time idol, Nilavalagan, who was holding his mother’s mobile phone, tried hard to take Hishammuddin’s photo whenever the Umno senior leader stopped to shake hands, hug or chit-chat with traders and market-goers.

However, his attempts often ended up in not-so-perfect shots as he was unable to get a good vantage point. The boisterous crowd also got in his way as many wanted to interact and pose with Hishammuddin.

However, the boy finally lucked out when a Barisan by-election worker noticed him and asked if he wanted a picture with Hishammuddin.

Nilavalagan lit up upon hearing this and was soon led to Hishammuddin, who acknowledged him and held him in his arms for photos.

‘’I feel so happy, ’’ exclaimed the boy, beaming from ear to ear.

Nilavalagan said he liked seeing Hishammuddin on the television and in the news because he appeared friendly and knowledgeable.

When asked, the boy said his idol was warm and friendly for willing to pose with him. ‘’I want to become the country’s Defence Minister one day when I grow up, just like my idol, ’’ he added.

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