Bandar Ekar’s non-Malays solid behind Mohamad Hasan

Bandar Ekar’s non-Malays solid behind Mohamad Hasan

RANTAU: Bandar Ekar Rantau’s non – Malays are solid behind BN candidate, Mohamad Hasan, reported Free Malaysia Today, in the lead up to the by-election on April 13.

Many Chinese and Indians here, who make up roughly 60% of the electorate, say their votes will go to Mohamad Hasan, who helmed the state before Umno’s downfall in the election last year.

Long-time resident Pathmavathi remembers Mohamad’s financial assistance for her daughter’s studies after she failed to get a seat at local universities.

“My daughter told him she wanted to go Labuan to study, and she eventually did with his help,” said the 56-year-old former rubber tapper.

She said Mohamad, better known as Tok Mat, also helped a number of children of estate workers.

Pathmavathi said she would support Barisan Nasional (BN) because of Mohamad, adding that this was the general sentiment among the Indian poor who live in nearby plantations.

For Tee Thiam Wey, 50, the PH candidate is still a stranger.

He said Mohamad would be his choice even though Umno is no longer in power, adding that the former menteri besar had done a lot for Rantau.

“I have not seen them at all,” Tee said of PH leaders. “I don’t know, maybe others have come down, but our hearts are still with Tok Mat.”

Mohamad earlier visited Bandar Ekar, a township some 30 minutes away from Seremban, on the third day of his campaign to retain the seat.

In the general election last year, he won by default after the Election Commission refused to allow PKR’s Dr S Streram Sinnasamy to file his nomination papers, a decision which formed the basis of the Election Court calling for a re-election.

Mohamad will face Streram and two independent candidates, housewife Malar Rajaram and former lecturer Mohd Nor Yassin.

Tee, a former MCA member, has lived in Rantau for more than 20 years.

“With Tok Mat around, we have seen change,” he told FMT.

Retiree AP Arasah agrees.

“I’ll be frank with you. I always went to Mat Hasan’s office in Seremban when he was MB. I went to him to help my friends and family who were poor and unable to walk – these issues.

“And whenever I went there, I would get him,” said the 62-year-old former Sepang Municipal Council worker, a staunch BN supporter.

He said the former government had done a lot for Negeri Sembilan.

“You can say that BN didn’t do anything, but I say look at the hospital first,” he said, referring to the Seremban Hospital.

“That is why we respect Mat Hasan. He always helps the poor and listens to the rakyat.

“He will help, even if it’s just his secretaries helping us fill our forms. He’s a good man.

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