Muhammad Aiman Zainali
By Kamarul Irwan Alias
SEMENYIH, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali has been seen to have the advantage over other candidates in the Semenyih state by-election.
Being the treasurer of the Hulu Langat division of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) which works closely with the state and federal governments under the PH administration, he is logically in the position to have the voices of the people heard.
In the by-election, Muhammad Aiman is contesting alongside three other aspirants, namely Zakaria Hanafi, 58, a more experienced politician representing Barisan Nasional (BN), Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25, from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and independent candidate who is a popular social activist Kuan Chee Heng, 56.
Despite having the upper hand, it is not going to be easy for the 30-year-old Muhammad Aiman as he will have to convince the 54,503 voters in Semenyih that he will be able to live up to their aspirations.
Generally, the Semenyih constituents agreed that age would not be a factor as all they wanted is an assemblyman who is committed and responsible to continue developing the state constituency while at the same time addressing all the problems faced by the people.
A youth who only wanted to be known as Vicky, 23, said that even though there was a need for younger leaders, the important thing was the elected representative would be able to address issues concerning public transportation and employment opportunities, especially for young people.
“Having a young assemblyman is probably better as he is more aware of the problems faced by young people in the area," said the hotel employee from Bandar Rinching here.
A private sector employee Siti Nurnabila Ramlan, 23, said the elected assemblyman should work towards developing Semenyih as a tourist destination to attract more visitors thereby boosting the economy to provide more employment opportunities for the population, especially youths.
She said the Broga Hill here which had been a popular spot for hikers could also be promoted as a tourist destination to attract foreign tourists.
A market stall operator Zeti, 36, who shared Siti Nurnabila’s view said, visits by more local and foreign tourists to Broga Hill would definitely help generate more income for hawkers and local traders in Semenyih.
Meanwhile, a Kampung Sungai Purun resident known only as Shina, 52, said he wanted an assemblyman who would look after the welfare of the Malays for the sake of the future of his grandchildren.
Prior to this, PH deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said that the party was committed to pursuing the development agenda in Semenyih and overcoming problems such as public transportation and traffic congestion in the state constituency.
However, he said the efforts would be stunted if the voters rejected the PH candidate in the March 2 by-election.
Political analyst, Associate Prof Dr Ahmad Marthada Mohamed said Muhammad Aiman's victory would depend on several factors including his ability to respond to issues and in formulating strategies to help the constituents and develop the constituency.
“He has the advantage and he can make use of the various initiatives introduced by the Selangor state government under the PH administration to help the people such as the aid for single mothers and free water scheme,” he said, adding that as a young man, Muhammad Aiman would also be able to capitalise on social media to campaign and reach out to the voters.
Ahmad Marthada, who is the Dean of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) College of Law, Government and International Studies said, Muhammad Aiman and the PH machinery should also be wise in addressing issues pertaining to Malay interests as the Malays made up 69 per cent of the constituency’s population.
Meanwhile, another political analyst, Che Hamdan Che Mohd Razali, said PH’s efforts in fielding a young candidate should be commended as this could bring about more innovative and fresh ideas in promoting the sustainable development of Semenyih.
“PH has fielded a young candidate as this is their commitment to making continuous changes in the government administration," said the Universiti Teknologi MARA, Administrative Science and Policy Studies Faculty senior lecturer at the Raub campus in Pahang.
However, he said the current sentiments that the manifesto pledges were still not fulfilled would have a significant impact on the PH candidate in retaining the seat, and the issue should be explained to the voters.