THE Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Pulai by-election Suhaizan Kaiat expressed confidence in gaining the support of Malay voters in the constituency. Suhaizan is of the opinion that the coalition has effectively cultivated a strong relationship with the local Malay community since 2018.
Suhaizan emphasised that capturing the hearts and trust of the Malay community is not something that can be accomplished in a mere two-week campaign period.
“You have to have had a strong relationship with them from early on. I believe we (PH) in Pulai have had a good relationship with the Malay voters since 2018 when Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub first won the seat,” news portal Free Malaysia Today quoted him as saying.
The former Amanah deputy president secured the Pulai seat in the 14th General Election (GE14) and further solidified his standing by winning in GE15 last November with an even larger majority. Tragically, Salahuddin passed away on July 23 due to a brain haemorrhage.
Moreover, Suhaizan acknowledged the challenges of estimating the percentage of votes from Malay voters in the upcoming by-election but expressed hope that it would surpass previous results.
Pulai is a diverse constituency, with Malays comprising 44.18% of the total 166,653 registered voters, followed by the Chinese (40.46%), Indians (12.31%), and other ethnicities (3.06%). The constituency encompasses the Kempas and Perling state seats.
When it comes to securing non-Malay votes, Suhaizan highlighted his main concern: the majority of these voters do not reside in Pulai but are based in and around Johor Bahru.
“Also, we are concerned that those (non-Malays) working in Singapore amount to about 30% of the voters. However, there are two groups among those working in Singapore. One group resides there while the other travels daily,” he said.
To address this challenge, Suhaizan disclosed that he has been in discussions with Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to ensure that those residing in Singapore have the opportunity to return and vote in the by-election.
“We have discussed with Saifuddin opening more immigration counters at the border to allow cars to enter smoothly. Based on our survey, the response from those working in Singapore is great, and we expect them to come back and vote,” he stated.
In the upcoming Pulai by-election, Suhaizan will be competing against Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Zulkifli Jaafar and independent candidate Samsudin Fauzi. – Sept 8, 2023
Main photo credit: Kosmo Digital