Sg Bakap polls: 'It's not just academic', Fahmi plays up PH candidate's PhD

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil — Bernama

NIBONG TEBAL: The value of an election candidate's academic and professional credentials bubbled to the top at the Sungai Bakap by-election fever.

When it became known that Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin has a PhD, Perikatan Nasional election director Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor played down the value of such academic achievements.

Bernama reported however that unity government spokesperson Fahmi Fadzil said that academic qualifications were an important measure of a candidate’s ability to serve the people if elected.

The Communications Minister said that downplaying the importance of academic qualifications in politics is akin to disregarding knowledge, emphasising that election candidates must exemplify a culture of learning.

"Being a leader (election candidate) means we are often compared to or serve as examples within the community. Therefore, we should be good examples and educators to society," he said.

Fahmi spoke to reporters after visiting stroke patient Wan Khairul Afiznaz Wan Ishak, 45, during the Madani Community ‘Jalinan Insan Wahana Aspirasi (Jiwa)’ programme at Taman Tasek Indah, Simpang Ampat, here on Saturday (June 22).

During a press conference following the nomination process for the Sungai Bakap state constituency by-election on Saturday morning, Sanusi had remarked that academic qualifications were not the sole measure of a political leader's excellence, noting other factors such as personality also played a role.

The Kedah Mentri Besar, responded to criticisms regarding Perikatan candidate Abidin Ismail’s qualifications, which include an ISO 14001 certificate for Environmental Management Systems, compared to his opponent Joohari's doctorate.

"I see many netizens questioning the ISO qualifications of the Perikatan candidate and his place of employment, but for me, I want to know what ideas he proposes for the residents of Sungai Bakap," said Fahmi.

The Sungai Bakap by-election sees a one-on-one contest between Joohari and Abidin, following the death of the incumbent Nor Zamri Latiff on May 24 due to stomach inflammation.

Meanwhile, Fahmi urged the Madani Community to consider implementing health screening programmes in each state constituency to allow more people to detect serious illnesses at an early stage.

Taking Penang as an example, he mentioned that there were 120 Madani Community groups in the state so far, and their presence should be utilised to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining good health.

"I request that the Madani Community consider simple and easy health screening programmes, not on a large scale but perhaps involving general practitioners (GPs), doctors, and volunteers to provide basic health advice within the community," he said.

The Madani Community is a voluntary multi-racial organisation administered by the Malaysian Information Department, aiming to foster noble values and patriotism among the people.- Bernama

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