PETALING JAYA: The Seri Setia by-election sees a straight fight between Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Halimey Abu Bakar and PAS’ Dr Halimah Ali, hence voters only need to choose between the two.
However, it may not be as simple as it seems. Voters are increasingly discerning and have high expectations of their candidate, including that the candidate should serve all the communities and has to be close to their hearts.
Having a candidate who can look into the needs of all races and someone who always ‘turun padang’ (goes to the ground) is what the voters in the Seri Setia state constituency are hoping for when they elect a new representative next month.
President of Residents Association of Taman Sri Subang PJS 10, V. Pulevendren said the voters were looking for a candidate who could serve all races and not focus on one particular segment of the society.
“It is important to have a representative who will represent the voice of the people in Seri Setia and knows what is important for them,” the 66-year-old businessman told Bernama.
Pulevendren, who has been staying in Seri Setia for almost 30 years, claimed that the Indian community, especially those staying in Desa Mentari, Desa Ria and Lembah Subang flats, had been ‘a bit neglected’.
Special attention should be given to resolve the issues plaguing the community, as they were a significant vote bank for the constituency, he said.
Meanwhile, another resident in Taman Sri Subang, Peter Chong, 66, said it did not matter if the candidate was local or not as long as the person made efforts to get close to the people.
“The important criteria for any candidate is always to listen to the pulse and needs of the people by getting to the ground to meet them. We don’t want a candidate who only appears when election is around the corner.
“If the assemblyman has some other engagements and really can’t meet the people, we want at least his or her personal assistant to come and meet us.
“Whoever wins the by-election should strive to be better while continuing the legacy of the previous representative, namely former two-term Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad,” said the retired warehouse and logistics supervisor from a private company.
Among issues plaguing residents in Seri Setia is clogged drains and poor cleanliness of the surroundings, especially after the Sunday night market.
Another resident, Mansor Ibrahim, 63, from Taman Sri Subang said more people-centric programmes, like ‘program muhibbah’ which gathers all races under one roof, was needed to ensure neighbours know each other better.
He also thanked the relevant authorities who helped to lower the crime rate in Taman Sri Subang PJS 10, Petaling Jaya, where crime was once a major problem for the residents.
The by-election for the Seri Setia state seat will be held on Sept 8 following the death of its incumbent, Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin of PKR, due to colon cancer on Aug 2.
In the general election on May 9, Shaharuddin won the seat with a 19,372-vote majority, beating three challengers Datuk Yusoff HM Hanif of BN, Mohd Ghazali Daud of PAS and independent candidate Dr S.Vignes.
– BERNAMA © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd