KULIM: With the general election results already known, it has been a listless campaign in Padang Serai, the last seat to be decided, where polling takes place on Wednesday next week.
Most voters have already made up their minds after knowing the outcome of the general election on Nov 19.
The Padang Serai election was deferred to Dec 7 when Pakatan Harapan candidate M Karupaiya died just before the polling date.
The six candidates in the contest are showing signs of lethargy with campaigning still to continue for another week. Voters also appear to be weary: fewer are heading out to ceramahs and are generally being apathetic.
Most voters met by FMT indicated they were either sticking with PH or swinging to Perikatan Nasional which has an edge here as it holds the two state seats within Padang Serai.
Harith Hashim, 24, said he has become somewhat distrustful of what politicians promise to do if they are elected.
“During Covid-19, these politicians showed their colours. They are fighting for power not for us. I want to sit out of this. I am in no mood to vote. The government is already there, what difference am I going to make?” the motorcycle mechanic said.
M Kumaran, 37, who runs a car wash, hoped the new MP would help small businesses get interest-free loans from the government without any red tape.
“We are also short of workers after Covid-19. The new MP must ask for foreign worker (recruitment) to be relaxed. But as for the election I will stick with PH, it is the prime minister’s party,” he said.
A school teacher from Sungai Seluang, who wished to be known only as Ashraf, said PH had merely given lip service over the years with no real plans for flood prevention in his area.
“The drains are too small. In PH’s 22 months I told our local council and works department to do something (about it) yet nothing happened. The traffic is also horrible, we have asked for more traffic lights but still nothing. Because of that I’m not voting for PH,” the 56-year-old said.
Factory worker Nasrul Sanif, 40, said he had become fed up with PH and Barisan Nasional and would vote for PN this time, noting that the Merbau Pulas state constituency was served well by a PAS state executive councillor.
“We have two exco members who are assemblymen in Padang Serai. I also like the menteri besar, Sanusi Nor. He is direct and straight to the point and has the Malay people at heart. So my vote is for PN.”
Former market analyst and retired teacher D Raman, 78, said he was worried about the “blue-green political wave” sweeping Kedah, citing possible curbs on the personal liberties of non-Muslims through proposed bans on alcohol sales and gaming outlets.
He said he felt that Padang Serai’s proximity to Penang and a large working class who were more politically aware might help PH keep the seat.
“It must be remembered that the people of Padang Serai picked an Indian candidate to represent them in Parliament for the past three terms. This shows they are not concerned about race but about what they can bring to the table,” he said.
There are 133,867 voters in the constituency comprising 62% Malays, 19% Indians, 17% Chinese and 0.72% others.
On the ballot are Sofee Razak (PH), C Sivaraj (BN), Azman Nasrudin (PN); Hamzah Abdul Rahman (Pejuang); Bakri Hashim (Warisan) and Sreanandha Rao (Independent).