KUALA TERENGGANU: First-timer Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia will field a line-up of mostly political newbies to contest 13 seats in Terengganu.
Aside from its state chief Datuk Razali Idris, who contested for Barisan Nasional in GE12, the other 12 candidates have never contested before.
“Fielding newcomers is not a disadvantage. Unlike seasoned politicians, our candidates do not carry any baggage and offer voters the change they need,” said Razali, who will be contesting in the Hulu Terengganu parliamentary seat.
The Terengganu Pribumi candidates range in age from 36 to 62.
Pribumi’s youngest candidate, Wan Hafizie Suzlie Wan Hassan, hopes to uphold and empower the youth if he wins the Tepuh seat.
The 36-year-old wants to prove to youths in the tiny Terengganu town that they can make a living there.
“I hope to inspire the youth to participate in and boost our local economy, which will then improve our quality of life here.
“Many opportunities can be found here and I would like to make them more accessible,” he said.
Wan Hafizie is optimistic about the possibilities as he himself built his construction and transportation business in Tepuh.
“There is a lot of potential that our youths can take advantage of,” he added.
Contesting in Tepuh marks his first foray into politics.
“I see myself developing in this field, especially within Pribumi,” said the political rookie who looks up to the party’s youth chief, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, as his idol.
Meanwhile, Pribumi’s oldest candidate, Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, recently retired from the Terengganu civil service, where he served in the state economic planning unit. In 2014, he was the deputy state secretary.
Zulkifli, 62, was a former Umno member but left to join Pribumi in 2016. He is now the Kuala Terengganu division chief.
He will contest in Ladang, a state seat within the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat where he was born and bred.
“During my time in the civil service, I was exposed to a lot of wastage by the state government, especially in projects that brought little profit to the state.
“I decided to become active in politics and aim to bring some changes to my home state,” said the grandfather of two.
Among the main issues he will campaign on are housing and land acquisition, which affect many Ladang villagers.
Many of them had to be relocated to give way to commercial projects, said Zulkifli.
He is expected to face Barisan and PAS in a three-cornered fight in Ladang.
Pribumi will contest three parliamentary and eight state seats in Terengganu under the PKR banner.