Sg Bakap polls: Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan candidates to face off in straight fight

NIBONG TEBAL: The Sungai Bakap state by-election will see a straight fight between Perikatan Nasional candidate Abidin Ismail and Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin.

Abidin, 56, from PAS, arrived at the nomination centre at Dewan Serbaguna Jawi at about 9.15am accompanied by party nominator Abdul Rahman Hashim and seconder Amizan Ariffin.

Clad in dark torques Baju Melayu and light cream sampin, he was jovial when he entered the hall to submit his nomination papers.

At South Seberang Perai Mosque, thousands of Perikatan Nasional supporters converged as early as 6am.

Abidin arrived at the mosque at about 8am, where he performed "solar hajat" with the Perikatan supporters.

Several Perikatan leaders, Tan Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Tan Seri Annuar Musa, Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, and Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, were also present.

Earlier, Pakatan candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin arrived at the nomination centre with his supporters.

The former teacher smiled as he entered the nomination centre with the support of the Pakatan leaders who walked with him to the centre.

Joohari, 60, is the former director of Aminuddin Baki Institute (Northern Branch) and the Pakatan's candidate.

Joohari was joined by his nominator, Nibong Tebal PKR branch secretary S. Galaimani and seconder Penang Umno Women's Chief Ameera Nadia Mohd Shafiee.

Joohari holds a PhD from Universiti Sains Malaysia and is the director of Institute Aminuddin Baki (northern branch).

He has worked closely with Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek, Nibong Tebal MP, handling parliamentary and party matters.

Earlier, thousands of supporters clad in Pakatan gear bearing the Harapan flag waited outside the Nibong Tebal Umno branch office and chanted "Cikgu Joohari" as they marched towards the centre, which was about 200m away.

A total of 39,279 registered voters, 39,222 ordinary voters, and 57 police personnel are eligible to vote in the by-election.

The Election Commission has set July 2 as the early voting date, while July 6 is the polling day for the by-election that needs to be held following the death of the incumbent, Nor Zamri Latiff, on May 24 due to stomach inflammation.

In the Penang state election last August, the late Nor Zamri, also Nibong Tebal PAS president, defeated PH candidate Nurhidayah Che Rose with a majority of 1,563 votes.

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