BENTONG: Don’t misbehave in Pelangai – that’s the advice from residents to political parties campaigning in the Pelangai by-election.
The by-election campaign started on Saturday after the nomination of candidates and will end at 11.59pm on Oct 6.
For Sharif Muhammad, 36, from Kampung Shafie, all parties need to have a sense of responsibility not to disrupt the harmony and order of the area with excessive campaigns, including involving the 3R issues of race, religion and royalty.
“Here, there are many Felda settlers, but it is also inhabited by people of various races, so don’t incite things that can trigger disharmony, and mind your language because the current trend is such that what the leaders say that goes viral will be followed by young people,” he said when met by Bernama.
Sharif said he does not want the life of the community here, which is peaceful and close, to be strained by political issues.
Senior citizen Sabar Sarip, 66, said that as a person who was born, raised and settled in Simpang Pelangai, her soul is very much in tune with the constituency which she describes as very peaceful.
“Nowadays, outsiders like to come here. We welcome everyone including those who want to campaign.
“Any party is welcome as long as they don’t promote negative things that have a bad effect on residents,” she said.
Pahang village heads chief Razak Beretong feels that the candidates need to use the campaign platform responsibly by championing local issues, which should include the Orang Asli community.“For example, a majority of the Orang Asli here are rubber tappers.
“They face income problems as the price of rubber is very low at the moment at around RM2.70 per kilo, not to mention the increase in the cost of raw materials, so the family’s economy is also unstable.
“There are many other issues, but don’t touch on sensitive issues, especially the 3Rs,” he said.
On Saturday, Pahang police chief Datuk Seri Yahaya Othman reminded all parties not to touch on matters that could threaten public order, including the 3Rs, during campaigning.
State communications and multimedia, youth, sports and non-government committee chairman Fadzli Mohamad Kamal said the state of Pahang, also known as Darul Makmur, is known for its moderate politics.
“Having a by-election in Pelangai is not an excuse for us or any party to discredit anyone or campaign excessively.
“Ideally, we should heed the call of the Mentri Besar (Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail) that all contesting parties present their performance report cards as a reference for the people to choose who they want, not just play on perception to confuse the voters,” he said.
The Pelangai by-election on Oct 7 will see a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam, Perikatan Nasional candidate Kasim Samat and Independent candidate, Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli.