KUALA MUDA: Zulhazmi Shariff of DAP is on a mission to prove a former ally is wrong to claim that Kedah Malays will never accept the party.
Zulhazmi, who is DAP’s sole Malay candidate in Kedah, said he wants to prove that the people of Jerai are open-minded and appreciate a party’s values and not just its logos.
“It is our responsibility to prove that Phahrolrazi Zawawi is wrong to say DAP is unacceptable to the Malays,” he told FMT in an interview.
Phahrolrazi’, the former Kedah Amanah chief, made his comment following Pakatan Harapan’s decision to field a DAP candidate to contest the Jerai seat.
Phahrolrazi said an Amanah candidate should have been chosen and he called on Amanah members to boycott the general election, resulting in his sacking by the party.
Zulhazmi, who was previously with PAS, said he had joined DAP because he sees the party as being principled. He left PAS in 2015 due to his discontent with the Islamic party cosying up to Umno.
The perception that DAP was anti-Malay or anti-Islam was untrue.“I am no less Malay nor less Muslim by joining DAP,” he said.
However, some Malays remained sceptical about PH, though this had nothing to do with DAP but rather perceptions surrounding the coalition’s 22 months in government.
On the ground, Zulhazmi said non-Malays have responded positively to him, while there were encouraging signs from PAS supporters.
“We are unsure whether they are going to vote (for us), but they (PAS supporters) have never chased us (campaigners) out or ignored us when we approached them,” he added.
He said there are even Umno supporters who have praised him for taking the bold decision to join DAP and offer himself as a candidate.
Zulhazmi said he intended to help Jerai realise its potential as an agriculture and tourism hub.
A four-way contest is taking place in Jerai between Zulhazmi and candidates from Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional and Gerakan Tanah Air.