Poster war, excitement sorely lacking in Semenyih by-election
Last Update: 21/02/2019
By Muhammad Afiff Adnan
SEMENYIH, Feb 21 (Bernama) -- It is common to see posters, banners, buntings and flags of the different parties all over the place during any election as they add colour and excitement to the occasion.
However, things have been pretty quiet in the Semenyih state by-election over the last six days since campaigning began on Saturday.
A check by Bernama found only certain areas had campaign materials of the candidates contesting in the by-election and, even then, they were mostly centred in their own strongholds.
For example, Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign materials, featuring the image of its candidate Zakaria Hanafi, could be seen adorning both sides of the streets in the Bandar Tasik Kesuma area.
Similarly, one can see flags and posters bearing the image of the other two candidates, Muhammad Aiman Zainali of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), in all areas believed to be their strongholds.
While PH, BN and PSM are slowly but surely beginning to make their presence felt by putting up their campaign materials, Independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng, also known as ‘Uncle Kentang’, has yet to activate his election machinery.
Haizir Tarmizi, 24, a chicken-rice seller in Semenyih town, attributed the lack of “activity” among the candidates to the fact it was still early as the campaigning period was 14 days, adding that this could explain why the parties’ flags and posters were confined to their strongholds for now.
“I notice that the Kesuma area has a lot more BN flags compared to here (Semenyih town). Over here, from the main road from Semenyih to Beranang behind my stall, the area is monopolised by PH flags. PSM and BN flags are almost non-existent.
“I also noticed that the campaigning is not feverish,” he told Bernama.
It was also found that PH and PSM, which both use the same red-white colour scheme, hung their flags close to one another in several areas, like at the Sungai Semenyih bridge, here.
Meanwhile, many also felt that the candidates in this by-election were not trying hard enough compared to last year’s 14th General Election, adding that this could be due to the assumption that whoever wins this time would make no impact on the stability of the state government, in which PH already has a fairly large number of seats.
“I can see there are candidates who are not campaigning whole-heartedly, cancelling their appointments and such. They need to be wiser and more hardworking to win the voters’ heart,” said food stall operator Azli Iskandar, 42.
“Maybe it’s still too early, but whatever they have done so far haven’t caught our imagination.
Whatever happens, things are set to hot up in the coming days, with early voting set for Feb 26 and polling on March 2.
The Semenyih by-election will see a four-cornered fight among Muhammad Aiman, Zakaria Kuan and Nik Aziz Afiq. It is being held following the death of the PH assemblyman, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor of Bersatu, on Jan 11.