PETALING JAYA: "Yes, I'm a local boy and I grew up in a squatter area – so what?"
Pakatan Harapan's candidate for the Seri Setia by-election, Halimey Abu Bakar, teared up midway through a media conference held in response to PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali dismissal of Halimey's "local boy" campaign motto as being outdated.
"I know what it feels like to be poor. I'm a son of a hawker in a pasar malam (night market). I remember the times my father only managed to make RM20 in an entire day just to put food on our table.
"Now it's my turn to help my neighbourhood and my people.
He said he was saddened by Dr Halimah's words and called on the former Selat Kelang assemblyman to stop attacking him over this.
Halimey then launched a salvo at Dr Halimah, questioning what the 58-year-old had done for Seri Setia voters, while drawing a comparison with his own contributions when he was a Petaling Jaya councillor.
"When I was a councillor, I helped a lot – I provided facilities for the people of Seri Setia.
"Dr Halimah isn't even a Seri Setia voter, she hasn't contributed anything to this constituency," he said.
Halimey also called on PAS to stop attacking him over a debate that was supposed to take place between him and Dr Halimah on Astro Awani.
"I never received an official invitation from Astro, and the invitation was only through a WhatsApp message sent by an unregistered NGO," he said.
Halimey added that he had no time to deal with such matters as he has a packed schedule for the final week of campaigning for the by-election, which will take place on Saturday (Sept 8).
"So, I'm asking (PAS) to stop all kinds of attacks on me, such as penakut (coward) and pondan (sissy)," he said.
On Wednesday (Sept 5), Dr Halimah said she was always ready to take on Halimey, a first-time candidate, in a live debate.
She said she received an official invitation from Astro Awani and claimed that Halimey was afraid to take her on in a debate.
The Seri Setia by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin from cancer on Aug 2. The constituency has 52,650 registered voters.