In Seri Setia, voters unconcerned about SST and likely to vote for Pakatan

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
a Malay Mail poll conducted on 15 voters here revealed all would most probably cast their vote for the PH candidate. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 — Tomorrow’s by Seri Setia by-election will likely see a victory for Pakatan Harapan (PH) as voters here seem unaffected by attacks against the coalition over the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

This is despite attempts by PAS and Umno to attack the PH government over the implementation of the tax.

Voters in the constituency seem to have their minds made up already on who to cast their ballot for, after a Malay Mail poll conducted on 15 voters here revealed all would most probably cast their vote for the PH candidate.

The poll was conducted to also gauge sentiments of voters following the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

During her campaign last night, PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali had claimed the SST burdened the rakyat.

“The government has to do something to recoup all the lost funds and lower the national debt, so I disagree the SST burdens the people.

“It is not the same like the GST (Good and Services Tax) which was a blanket (tax) on everything; not everything is taxed under the SST,” said a 23-year-old freelance tutor only wished to be known as Amira.

On the topic of election candidates, Amira and her friend, Nadhirah Lazim, 23, a student, both felt that Halimey was the right choice, as he is known to be active in the field and engages with the community.

“We feel he is a better option, because he is a local boy from this area and we have never heard bad news about him.

“We would choose the candidate based on personality and not SST,” said Nadhirah.

Nadhirah, who also rubbished claims of SST burdening the people, added Dr Halimah was rarely seen engaging with the constituency even currently during campaigning period.

She also highlighted how a candidate from the ruling federal government would find it easier to obtain financial allocations to help the people, as opposed to PAS being on the opposition bloc.

“Another issue is also the integrity of PAS and Umno, when after all that was said between them they are now working together, which to me are not signs of a good party,” she added.

Meanwhile, D. Sundram, 53, a resident of Seri Setia for over 30-years and flower shop owner of eight-years here, said he felt negative arguments of PH’s first 100 days and the SST were not enough to sway his vote.

“The problem has been going for over 60 years, this tax, that tax, how come only now PAS wants to bring this up,” he said referring to PAS’ stance on the SST.

“If for 60 over years they have been quiet, why now so much noise after just 100 days.

“They (PAS) are only saying these things to try and stay relevant and keep the party alive, they have no real objective,” he said about PAS.

For burger stall owner Shamsul Bahari, 36, the SST had not affected his business in any major way, adding that he felt six days of the tax being implemented was not enough ammo to sway voters away from PH.

“I think the PH candidate has a good chance, but then again, we (Malaysians) can be unpredictable when it comes to voting.

“We all thought Barisan Nasional was going to win again, but look what happened,” he said.

The by-elections, triggered by the tragic death of its incumbent Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin on Aug 2 due to colon cancer, will see a straight fight between PKR’s Halimey Abu Bakar and PAS’ Dr Halimah.

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