All eyes on young candidates in Semenyih polls
Last Update: 21/02/2019
By Mohd Fharkhan Abdul Ghapar
SEMENYIH, Feb 21 (Bernama) -- The people of Semenyih, especially youths, are clearly excited with the emergence of a new trend by political parties in fielding young candidates.
The Semenyih by-election features Muhammad Aiman Zainali, 30, of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25, of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM). They will be battling Barisan Nasional’s Zakaria Hanafi, 58, and Independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng, 56, or better known as “Uncle Kentang”.
A Bernama observation here found that up till yesterday, the fifth day of campaigning, Muhammad Aiman and Nik Aziz Afiq showed no signs of awkwardness at all when meeting and mingling with the voters and the general public.
The younger generation here seems to be clearly excited with the involvement of these young candidates, which they see as a progressive development in local politics and proof that more attention is being given to young people.
Amin Nizam, 25, who just completed his studies at a tertiary institution, said they would not just evaluate the promises made by the candidates but also look at their personalities and approaches to campaigning as a yardstick to becoming the people’s elected representative.
“Although they (all the candidates) have their own ways of approaching us, I still find the younger candidates to be more open and smarter at adapting themselves when meeting voters. When they (the younger candidates) meet voters who are younger or of the same age, the way they interact is more casual and you don’t feel the age gap,” he told Bernama.
He added that the presence of young leaders could help cultivate a fresher and more competitive leadership who would be the voice of the youths and fight to resolve their socio-economic problems.
Private sector employee Hamizi Mamat, 30, meanwhile, is attracted to the leadership qualities shown by the young candidates.
”I have met both of them and their leadership spirits shone through and they know how to reach out to the community,” he said.
Based on the Election Commission (EC) statistics, 23,976 or 43.99 percent of the 54,503 registered voters in Semenyih are aged between 21 and 39.
Although still young, the experience gained by Muhammad Aiman and Nik Aziz Afiq from their active political and community activities, has stood them in good stead when dealing with people as well as become an added value to them being elected here.
Despite the serious business of campaigning and their busy schedules, they showed their ‘coolness’ by finding the time to entertain the many requests for selfies by the people.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Aiman, who is also the Hulu Langat Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) treasurer, said he was confident of wooing the hearts of the young voters in Semenyih based on the support received from the local youths.
“Whenever I meet the youngsters of Semenyih, they always pledge their support for me and for Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
Nik Aziz Afiq believes he too could attract the support and votes from the same group.
The Semenyih by-election is being held following the death of the PH assemblyman, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor of Bersatu, on Jan 11 due to a heart attack. The EC has set early voting for Feb 26 and polling day on March 2.