SEMENYIH: It is a four-cornered battle in Semenyih with Pakatan Harapan looking set to fend off challenges from three other hopefuls in its bid to retain the state seat.
There were no surprises when returning officer Datuk Mohd Sayuthi Bakar announced the names of the candidates after a lively yet smooth nomination process at the Kajang Municipal Council’s Dewan Seri Cempaka.
Pakatan’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali is facing Barisan Nasional’s Zakaria Hanafi, PSM’s Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul and independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Hulu Langat treasurer faces an uphill task to repeat the big majority win of 8,964 votes by the late Bakhtiar Mohd Nor in the 14th General Election.
Barisan meanwhile is hoping its alliance with PAS will give it more support as it did during the Cameron Highlands by-election, which they won with an increased majority.
Leaders from both coalitions were careful with their words but expressed confidence of their chances.
Pakatan deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged Semenyih folks to back Muhammad Aiman as he was a candidate of the ruling government.
“Both the federal and Selangor government are administered by Pakatan. So it is logical that if there are problems affecting the residents, it is better if the elected representative is from the ruling party.
“The Pakatan candidate has an advantage that none of the other candidates has,” said Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president.
Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, however, stressed that it was vital to have more dissenting voices in the State Assembly.
“When a government becomes too strong, just like in Selangor, our voices are drowned, which led to the voices of the people being ignored,” he said.
Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said the nomination process was completed in record time as the full list of candidates were announced at 10.25am.
Candidates were also made to sign an Aku Janji document and swore to follow the rules set in accordance with the Election Offences Act 1954.
Azhar reiterated his advice to candidates to adhere to rules and regulations during the campaign period, which kicked off yesterday and continues until 11.59pm on March 1.
“Any material deemed inciting ill will, racism, touching on religious sensitivities or causing animosity will be taken down,” he said and reminded candidates to apply for a police permit to hold any ceramah.
Azhar said he expected the turnout to be at least 70% and the results would be known before 10pm.