Shah Alam Voters Go For Candidates Not Party Says A Confident Afif
Afif Bahardin said he was not running away from Penang but returning to stand in his hometown Shah Alam.PETALING JAYA: The majority of voters in Shah Alam are “fence sitters” who go for the candidates and not out of allegiance to any political party, says the Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Dr Afif Bahardin.
Afif, a former Penang PKR leader who joined Bersatu in 2020, said the attitude among Shah Alam voters made him feel confident of swinging the majority of these voters to support him in the general election (GE15) on Nov 19.
He said Khalid Samad won the parliamentary seat in 2008 on a PAS ticket and defended it in 2013 on a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket as he was then with Amanah.
Afif said in 1995, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Salamon Selamat won the seat with a landslide majority of 40,715 but in the following general election in 1999, PKR’s Ezam Mohd Noor was only narrowly defeated by 1,000 votes by BN’s Hussien Ahmad.
“Shah Alam folk are well-informed voters. So, I’m not afraid of the fact that PH won big in the previous elections here. The votes could go to another candidate as evident from the track record in polls here,” he told FMT.
Shah Alam will see a four-cornered battle between Afif, Isham Jalil from BN, Azli Yusof (PH), and Rafique Rashid Ali (Pejuang).
Afif is the youngest candidate at 37.
He had been assemblyman for Seberang Jaya, Penang, since 2013, but brushed off critics who accused him of running away from Penang to contest in the Selangor capital.
“This is not about avoiding other seats. Shah Alam is my hometown and I’m coming back to bring change here. I’m proud to have served Seberang Jaya for 10 years but now it’s time for me to return,” he said.
Afif said he was not ashamed to be seen as a loyalist of former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali. He said Azmin was an exemplary leader who did the right thing rather than take the populist approach.
“During the Covid-19 outbreak, Azmin was sad after being heavily criticised for allowing factories to be reopened during the pandemic.
“But he saw the bigger picture and knew the people’s livelihood would be severely affected if the economic sector remained closed. So he made the decision and stood by his principle to do the right thing,” he said of his mentor.
Afif said he was also aware of allegations that Azmin as economic affairs minister had enriched those who worked for him.
“If it’s true, I wouldn’t have to service my bank loan any more because I’d be rich. But the fact is that none of us in PN has been investigated for suspected bribery or corruption. We are corruption free,” he said. - FMT
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