SEMENYIH: It is a battle of the locals in Semenyih as both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional are fielding residents of the area as their candidates.
Pakatan has placed its trust on 30-year-old engineer Muhammad Aiman Zainali to defend the seat it won in the 14th General Election.
He is the Hulu Langat Bersatu division treasurer and is currently pursuing a doctorate in electrical engineering.
Barisan is hoping that 58-year-old administrative assistant Zakaria Hanafi, who is also an Umno branch permanent chairman, can wrest the seat from Pakatan.
On Wednesday, PSM unveiled a Semenyih lad in 25-year-old Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul as their candidate for the by-election.
Only philanthropist Kuan Chee Heng, who has also expressed his intention to contest as an independent, is not from Semenyih.
Pakatan deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Muhammad Aiman was chosen out of six potential candidates they had shortlisted.
He said the fact that Muhammad Aiman was the son-in-law of the Semenyih incumbent, the late Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, was only coincidental.
“We vet our candidates and we make sure that they are not bankrupt and have no corruption or criminal history.
“Out of the six, Muhammad Aiman is the best. He is also a local boy. And it is coincidental that he is the son-in-law of the incumbent. But if it is somewhat a plus factor that could help us win, all the better,” he said after announcing the candidate here.
Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said they were determined to field a local who could voice out the people’s issues at the State Assembly.
“It was not an easy decision to make as the criteria for selecting someone for a state seat is different from selecting one for a parliamentary seat.
“To be a Member of Parliament, one would need a certain level of expertise and be able to represent people of different backgrounds.
“But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or have a list of degrees to be a state assemblyman.
“You just need to be good at listening to their problems and solving them,” he said after announcing the candidate.
The Semenyih by-election was called following Bakhtiar’s death in January due to a heart attack.
He won with an 8,964 majority against the then incumbent Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz of Barisan who got 14,464 votes.