4-cornered contest in Malaysia’s Semenyih by-election


SELANGOR: It is a four-cornered contest in the Semenyih state by-election on Mar 2, among candidates from the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), opposition Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) and an independent.

Semenyih state by-election returning officer Mohd Sayuthi Bakar announced the names of the candidates around 10.25am on Saturday (Feb 16), after the close of nomination at the Kajang Municipal Council.

PH, which is defending the seat in the Malaysian state of Selangor, has fielded engineer Muhammad Aiman Zainali, 30, who is the treasurer of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Hulu Langat Division.

BN has nominated Zakaria Hanafi, 58, the permanent chairman of the Kampung Sesepan Kelubi UMNO Branch and PSM, its youth wing central committee member Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25. 

The independent candidate is social activist Kuan Chee Heng, better known as Uncle Kentang.

PH candidate Muhammad Aiman arrived at the nomination centre at 8.45am, accompanied by several top PH leaders including PH deputy president and the Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Zakaria had moral support from BN and PAS leaders, among whom were UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan.

PH and BN leaders were seen exchanging greetings and engaging in conversation while waiting for the nomination process to be completed.

The Semenyih constituency has 54,503 registered voters, comprising 53,520 ordinary voters, 951 early voters and 32 absentee voters.

The Semenyih by-election is the sixth after the 14th general election (GE14) in May last year, the others being the Sungai Kandis state by-election (Aug 4, 2018); Balakong and Seri Setia state by-elections (Sep 8, 2018); Port Dickson parliamentary by-election (Oct 13, 2018) and Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election (Jan 26, 2019).

The Semenyih seat fell vacant on Jan 11 following the death of PH assemblyman, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, 57, after a heart attack.

In GE14, Bakhtiar polled 23,428 votes to beat three other candidates – Johan Abd Aziz (BN), Mad Shahmidur Mat Kosim (PAS) and S Arutchelvan (PSM) – to win with a majority of 8,964 votes.

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