PEKAN, June 29 -- Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Chini state seat by-election, Mohd Sharim Md Zain is not bothered by the stress made by certain parties that he is not Pahang-born, as it is an attempt to question his eligibility to contest.
He said while it is true that he was born in Alor Setar, Kedah, what was important was that he had lived in Felda Chini 3 near here for more than 40 years and was aware of what the people here need.
“I do not want to think about what other people say because I know I have lived in Felda Chini 3 with my family since I was young. It is true I was born in Alor Setar, Kedah because my family was originally from there but we all know that Felda settlers all came from various states,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Sharim said he had lived in Felda Chini 3 since he was two years old after his family became settlers there in 1981, and he had grown up and studied in Chini with the people there.
Previously, Pahang UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, including Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail have defended the decision to field Mohd Sharim as candidate in the by-election as the issue of not being Pahang-born did not arise because Felda settlers had gone to live there after they arrived there from all over the country.
According to Wan Rosdy, the constituency needed a leader who understood the needs of the local people.
Meanwhile, Mohd Sharim said in his meetings with the voters since June 20, he received very positive response as he was a local candidate, and 82 per cent of the residents in the constituency were Felda settlers.
He added that although he was faced with only two Independent candidates when Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not field anyone and most people were expected BN to enjoy a major victory in the Chini by-election, he did not want to be too comfortable with the situation.
“Even though the Independent candidates do not have a big machinery behind them, we still have to be careful and make sure our machinery meet with the voters and ensure that the people go out to vote on July 4,” he said.
Mohd Sharim said the machinery has to work hard as the campaign was being conducted during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.
He added the BN machinery observed the standard operating procedure set for the campaign period and also used the social media to reach the voters.
The Chini state seat by-election sees a three-cornered fight between Mohd Sharim and two Independent candidates, Tengku Datuk Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin, 64, and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli, 49.
It is one of the four state seats under the Pekan parliamentary constituency. The by-election is being held following the death of its incumbent, Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun, 60, at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on May 7 due to a heart attack.
There are 20,990 registered voters for the Chini by-election comprising 20,972 ordinary voters and 18 early voters. The majority of the voters (56 per cent) are aged 40 years and below.
Malaysia National News Agency
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