Non-Malay assemblyman not a problem for Malay voters in Rantau

Non-Malay assemblyman not a problem for Malay voters in Rantau

SEREMBAN: Having a non-Malay as their assemblyman is not an issue to Malay voters in the state constituency of Rantau here, which is having a by-election on April 13.

This bodes well for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate Dr S Streram, an Indian doctor, in the by-election.

This is because racial unity in the constituency is very strong and they (Malay voters) believe that whoever wins, the elected representative will focus on the welfare of the people.

Abd Ghani Md Yusof, 68, from Kuala Sawah, Rantau, said he saw Streram as a responsible person and capable of serving the people in the area irrespective of ethnic background.

“I believe he will serve this area well. This is because, as a doctor, he has served in other countries like Afghanistan, a war-stricken country,“ he told Bernama.

Md Salleh Banic, 71, shared the same opinion, saying that religion and ethnic background had nothing to do with good performance of an elected representative as long as he or she was aware of the people’s needs and wants.

In terms of development, Rantau Malay voters expect the future elected representative to do something about it so that more job opportunities for young people could be created.

For Mokhtar Idris, 57, the lack of job opportunities had led to the young people there to migrate elsewhere.

“In fact, there is a school in the area called Sekolah Kebangsaan Sega which has good facilities with four-storey buildings but only has a few students,“ he said.

Mokhtar also emphasised the need to have a good health care facility in the area because many of its residents were senior citizens.

Of the 20,926 voters in Rantau, Malays comprise 11,283 or 53.9 per cent; Indians (5,336 voters) and Chinese (3,849 voters) .

The Rantau by-election is seeing a four-cornered fight between Dr Streram, the Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan who is also former Negri Sembilan mentri besar, and two independent candidates, a former radio presenter R. Malarvizhi and ex-lecturer Mohd Nor Yassin.

The by-election has been necessitated by the Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the Nov 16 Seremban Election Court’s decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th General Election as null and void.

In the 14th General Election last May, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat after his potential PH opponent, Dr Streram of PKR, was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the Election Commission (EC). Dr Steraram had filed a petition on the result with the Election Court. — Bernama

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