The wave is with us, Umno Youth vice-chief says ahead of Semenyih polls

Umno Youth vice-chief Shahril Hamdan on the ground in Semenyih.

SEMENYIH: Umno’s Shahril Hamdan has questioned Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) direction, saying the coalition still lacks a clear vision 10 months after wresting Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 14th general election.

The Umno Youth vice-chief told FMT the people were now “with BN”, as the opposition prepares for the by-election for the Semenyih state seat, the sixth by-election since the May 9 polls last year.

“There is a lack of economic vision and a lack of a theme in anything they do.

“They say no plastic straws, but bauxite mining is somehow fine,” he said, referring to Putrajaya’s recent decision not to extend the moratorium on bauxite mining.

Speaking on the sidelines of Umno’s by-election campaign here, Shahril, who holds an economics degree, said PH had been “fumbling” for too long in its decisions, which had affected public opinion.

He also dismissed the notion that dissatisfaction with PH was a racial issue.

“I think there’s genuine dissatisfaction among Malaysians. All races and sections of society across the board have reasons to be upset with PH,” he said, adding that it was not just “a Malay issue”.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that the wave is with us.”

Shahril earlier took to the campaign trail in Taman Kantan Permai in support of BN candidate Zakaria Hanafi.

Zakaria, from Umno, will take on PPBM’s Aiman Zainali, PSM’s Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul and independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng, better known as the “10 sen man”, in a four-cornered fight on March 2.

Shahril also questioned Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari’s claim that the state government’s track record for the past 10 years was “impeccable”.

“I don’t know what universe he lives in to say that things in Selangor are impeccable as we have the highest dengue rate in the country and so many problems related to the local council with gentrification going on.”

He claimed he knew of roadside stalls in some parts of the state which were forced to close down after the general election, attributing this to PH’s “decision to gentrify the entire area of Selangor”.

He also insisted that BN was in a better position to take on national and state issues that need to be prioritised.

“They (PH) have probably realised they are completely behind on national or state-related issues,” he said, adding that things looked bright for BN, especially after the coalition’s victory in the recent Cameron Highlands by-election.

On former prime minister Najib Razak campaigning in Semenyih, he said, “As long as he helps us in the campaign, there is no reason to harbour ill feelings towards him.”