Johor PKR switches to personal tack with villagers

PKR’s candidate for the Johor Bahru parliamentary seat, Akmal Nasir, speaking in Larkin, Johor.

JOHOR BAHRU: Johor PKR is taking a different approach in its bid to woo voters in Johor Bahru: instead of holding political talks, it will be reaching out and personally listening to their problems.

“We spend time getting to know them and making them feel our presence. And they see us as community leaders,” PKR’s Johor Bahru candidate Akmal Nasir said.

“From there, we know they want someone to speak up for them and solve the issues concerning their lives.”

Speaking to FMT after a PKR function in Larkin on Saturday, he said it was important to be humble when approaching the locals.

“They don’t like to be intimidated,” he said, adding that political talks were only to boost momentum ahead of the election.

“I don’t want to spend my time boasting about how good the opposition is. I prefer to meet them face-to-face, and try to talk to those who come to Pakatan Harapan (PH) events,” he said.

Akmal added that the February incident at Kampung Bakar Bata, where he and several PH leaders were chased away by villagers, would not deter them from campaigning in the Umno stronghold.

“In fact, after the incident, the villagers there invited us to host a ceramah.

“That means a lot to us and the villagers, and I see it as some recognition for what PH has been doing,” he said, adding that nothing untoward had occurred during their second visit.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen and Johor PPBM secretary Osman Sapian had been among the leaders chased away by some 50 villagers following attempts to organise a dialogue session there.

Locals had reportedly called on the event organisers to stop criticising Umno.

When asked if the villagers were still resistant towards the opposition after the dialogue session, Akmal said he felt they were now more tolerant.

“Not to say they fully support us, but they are willing to listen to arguments, especially on issues that have been haunting them,” he added.

Akmal, who is also Johor Bahru PKR chief and a local resident of Larkin, will be contesting against Umno veteran Shahrir Abdul Samad who has held the seat for seven terms.

There are 101,409 registered voters in Johor Bahru, 53% of whom are Malay.

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