Sg Bakap polls: PH candidate opts for house-to-house visits on fourth day of campaigning

Sg Bakap candidate for Pakatan Harapan, Dr Joohari Ariffin visiting Laila Lakisha Abdul Halim, nine years old, who suffers from hydrocephalus.

NIBONG TEBAL: Besides ceramah (political talks) and walkabouts in public places, the candidate for Pakatan Harapan, Dr Joohari Ariffin also embarked on a house-to-house campaign in the Sungai Bakap state by-election to reach out to voters.

On entering the fourth day of campaigning on Tuesday (June 25), Joohari chose Kampung Changkat Din in Sungai Jawi here to start his visit programme, before moving to Taman Halaman Indah which is located about 2.5km from the village.

In the village, he spent about 30mins visiting five residents, among them was the home of a disabled child (OKU) Laila Lakisha Abdul Halim, nine years old, who suffers from hydrocephalus.

He also visited the home of an elderly resident, Siti Kholijah Abdul Talib, 61, who recently underwent eye surgery due to internal bleeding a month ago, which limited her movement due to blurred vision.

After meeting the residents there, Joohari who is a former teacher at several schools in Sungai Bakap then continued his journey to Taman Halaman Indah to visit a dialysis patient Hamid Sharif, 73, who has been suffering from the disease for the past six years.

When met by reporters after the programme, Joohari admitted that he chose the approach because it is more effective as he could get closer to the voters.

"I believe that if we can continue, God willing, we will be able to touch the hearts of the voters to make the right decision in choosing the candidate.

"After all, before this, I have been at many public places (campaigning) and what moved from house to house was machinery, so of course I wanted a diverse approach to the campaign," said Joohari, who has so far met about 40 per cent of voters over the course of the four days of campaign.

He said that based on observations on the ground, the voters' response to him was good, which was considered to be probably driven by his friendly character, which made the community feel comfortable to support and express their problems when meeting the former teacher.

With 10 days left to campaign after this, Joohari said his focus is definitely to 'whiten' areas that are considered grey in the second phase of the campaign to ensure victory for his party.

Meanwhile, Laila Lakisha's mother, Norliza Muhammad, 43, when met by Bernama said she was surprised to receive the former teacher's visit today because before, no elected representative had ever visited the family to understand the difficulties faced.

She said that Laila, who is the youngest of the four siblings, has been suffering from the disease since birth and always goes back and forth to the hospital every month to get treatment.

"She easily feels uncomfortable when it's hot. So we always have the fan on. If she eats, she has a hard time swallowing rice, so we will buy bread to replace rice in addition to giving her milk.

"... that's why in a month, the cost of caring for her is high and her father only does village work for a living apart from depending on the RM500 monthly assistance of the Department of Social Welfare," she said, hoping that the suffering experienced by her daughter would also receive the due attention from the related authorities.

The Sungai Bakap state by-election on July 6 is seeing Joohari challenged by Nibong Tebal PAS vice-president Abidin Ismail as Perikatan Nasional candidate in a straight fight.

The by-election was held following the death of incumbent Nor Zamri Latiff on May 24 due to stomach inflammation.- Bernama

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