PAS and PH candidates speak to NSTP about campaign strategies and the measures to ensure high voter turnout Her experience as former Selat Klang state assemblyman and former state executive council member proved to be an advantage for Pas’ Dr Halimah Ali. She was chosen as the candidate from the party to take on Pakatan Harapan in the Seri Setia by-election. She shares about her efforts and strategies to win the hearts of voters. Question: Do you think the Seri Setia by-election will prove Pas has the support of voters?Answer: If you notice, during the 14th General Election (GE14), Malaysians seemed more desperate and anxious about one thing, which was to bring down Umno and Barisan Nasional. That was the only thing that mattered. But now, after 100 days of seeing Pakatan Harapan rule, the three by-elections in this period have given voters the time to evaluate their choice of candidate in the Seri Setia by-election.
PAS candidate, Dr Halimah Ali (left) and Pakatan Harapan candidate Halimey Abu Bakar (right) . - NSTP FILE PIC
Q: In the Sungai Kandis by-election, the BN candidate and leaders used national issues when campaigning. Will you use a similar approach in your campaign? A: The majority of the people seem to be confused and are nauseated by “politics” as well as the excessive issues being raised these days. For me, my main focus is to get closer to the people and feel their pulse so that I can understand the deeper and bigger problems they face. On national issues, I will leave it to the central (Pas) leaders to explain as we have a strong machinery trained to do just that. At the moment, I will focus on getting to know the constituents and explore the grassroots issue in Seri Setia. Q: In the Sungai Kandis by-election, Pas made way for Umno, while in the Seri Setia by-election, Umno made way for Pas. Do you see this as the beginning of the Pas-Umno consensus or cooperation? A: The understanding between our two parties began in the Sungai Kandis by-election itself, when Pas did not nominate a candidate to contest there. Alhamdulillah, we see this as a start of a mature political culture. Actually, it is not just with Umno... We can be friends with any party that can accept Pas’ policies and views. Q: Do you feel that the 21-day campaign period can help Pas gain more support and also campaign more effectively?A: The 21-day period is very long, but it also gives Pas the advantage so that I can go to more places, meet more people and give a proper explanation to the voters in Seri Setia. I am using the 21 days wisely because time is important in any election campaign.Q: What can Pas do in the long run to gain continuous support from voters, especially those aged 30 to 49, as they make up the largest number of voters?A: Of course, Pas has a strategy on how to approach the voters. Regarding young voters, the Pas Youth machinery is on it in Seri Setia, using our own election strategy to reach out to voters in this age group. I am confident that the machinery involved in the campaign will do their best to carry out their duties to ensure a win in the by-election soon. Reporting by MOHD ISKANDAR IBRAHIM, KALBANA PERIMBANAYAGAM and SYED UMAR ARIFF © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd