NIBONG TEBAL: Talk of PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) contesting for the Nibong Tebal parliamentary seat was well received by the local folk.
Many are confident that Anwar, who was once the Education Minister, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, will bring about positive changes to the constituency.
Permatang Pauh PKR division chief Amir Ghazali said grassroots members have no objection towards Anwar contesting and bidding goodbye to the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, which his family has held for 36 consecutive years.
The seat is currently held by his daughter Nurul Izzah.
“Nibong Tebal is just a short drive away. He will still be near us and we can collaborate to develop our areas better,” he said.
Food court trader Norma Md Isa, 50, said she has only seen the current MP Datuk Mansor Othman twice during his campaigning during the last general election, and never after winning the seat.
“We only see his pictures on banners during festive occasions and never the real person.
“Anwar is known for being close to the people and as a Penangite, we believe he will provide a better service to us,” she said yesterday.
Retired businessman Dass Sivisdian, 63, also has faith in Anwar’s leadership with his more than 30 years of political experience.
“Given his experience, it will allow Anwar to showcase his capability. Poverty here is high, and the town lacks development.
“Many years ago Anwar developed Kampung Sungai Chenaam, and the village is still standing strong till today. He is really good in taking care of the poor," he added.
A plumber, who only wanted to be known as Tan, said he hopes the new leader will be the voice of the people and fight to have KTM’s electric train service (ETS) stop at the Nibong Tebal station.
“Despite being a big station, we only get the Kommuter train and rarely the ETS. My children are in Kuala Lumpur and I visit often, but I have to board the 5.30am ETS at Parit Buntar, which has a much smaller station.
“The Nibong Tebal station is turning into a white elephant and I hope the new leader can make better use of it,” he said.
Comprising three state constituencies – Jawi, Sungai Bakap and Sungai Acheh – Nibong Tebal is the last major township in southern Penang mainland close to the border with Kedah and Perak, according to Penang history blogger Timothy Tye.
According to the 2017 electoral roll, Nibong Tebal has 73,520 registered voters with Malays making up 35,190 voters or 47.9%, followed by the Chinese with 25,755 voters, or 35%.
There are 12,390 Indian voters or 16.9% in Nibong Tebal while others make up 0.3% or 185 of the total.
Penang Umno chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman won the seat in the 2004 general election but lost in 2008 to Tan Tee Beng of PKR and in 2013 to Mansor.
Mansor retained the seat in the 14th General Election in May with 15,817-vote majority over Barisan Nasional's Datuk Dr Shaik Hussein.
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