Umno ordinary member to represent BN in Semenyih by-election

Zakaria Hanafi

SEMENYIH: Barisan Nasional (BN) today named Zakaria Hanafi as its candidate for the upcoming Semenyih by-election.

The announcement was made by deputy BN chairman Mohamad Hasan at its command centre here today.

Zakaria, 58, is an Umno ordinary member.

“I wish to thank all BN component parties for their mandate to Umno to contest this seat.

“I also wish to thank PAS for making way for us to contest,” Mohamad said.

Also present were BN component party leaders as well as PAS leaders.

Earlier, Mohamad said six names had been shortlisted to contest in the by-election but in the end, they chose “the best of the best”.

“They said they did not want parachute candidates. They said they did not want outsiders, so we chose someone from among them. A local boy, someone who can be accepted by the community, and can be with the community,” he said.

Selecting parliamentary and state seat candidates

Mohamad, who is also the acting Umno president, said different criteria are used to select candidates for parliamentary and state seats.

He said parliamentary candidates need to have the expertise to represent a certain group of people and must be able to debate and help formulate legislation.

“To be a state seat candidate, we don’t need a rocket scientist. It is important to have someone who can be with the community.

“They must be able to go to wedding receptions. They must be able to visit those who are sick, and they must be able to resolve the rakyat’s problems.

Mohamad urged the BN component parties and their members not to take their opponents lightly or look down on them.

The state seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent assemblyman, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, on Jan 11.

In the general election last year, Bakhtiar defeated BN, PAS and PSM in a four-cornered fight, with a majority of 8,964 votes. He garnered 23,428 votes.

The Election Commission (EC) has fixed polling on March 2, with nomination on Feb 16 and early voting on Feb 26.

Yesterday, PSM named 25-year-old Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul as its candidate for the by-election.

Kuan Chee Heng, known as “Uncle Kentang” or the “10 sen man”, may also join the contest.