KUALA LUMPUR: Winning the 14th General Election (GE14) does not mean Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) position is secured or that they will win in every by-election held after the historic May 9th polls.
This bitter truth was proven during last month’s Cameron Highlands by-election where PH had to face an embarrassing defeat although it was them who sparked the by-election by taking its incumbent Datuk C Sivarrajjh to court.
Universiti Malaya political analyst Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said it was time for PH to learn its lesson in Cameron Highlands – one of it was to prepare its candidate in Semenyih, Muhammad Aiman Zainali on how to engage with the local voters.
“An experienced politician understands how a small act like shaking the hands of voters is important and this is one of the PH candidate’s weaknesses which needs to be addressed immediately.
“Locals who attended ceramah (political talks) want to meet the candidate. So, if the candidate is unwilling to walk 40 to 50 meters to shake hands with them, this will leave them wondering ‘what will happen after he wins’?” he said when contacted.
Azman said this in relation to observations by several quarters on how candidates from PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) engaged with their voters.
He added, it was also important for Aiman to win the hearts of the voters when meeting up to ensure that the votes he would receive on March 2 comes from the people who attended his programmes.
On this, Azman said BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi had an upper hand due to his years of experience in politics where the latter was seen comfortable talking to the people and spent more time either shaking hands or hugging his voters.
“Aside from this, PH must also go to polling districts (PDM) that are not their strongholds because at the moment, it is important for them to attract fence sitters,” he said.
The Semenyih by-election was sparked due to the death of its incumbent Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, 57, on Jan 11 due to heart attack.
The by-election which would be held on March 2 would see a four-cornered fight between Aiman, Zakaria, Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul from Socialist Party of Malaysia and an independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng.