Tuesday, May 17

Haze, missing plane reduce campaign heat for Kajang by-election


KAJANG: The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 and the current haze appear to have reduced the heat generated by the ongoing campaign for the upcoming Kajang state by-election.

Unlike most by-elections previously, with ‘poster wars’ and flags, the situation in Kajang seems to reflect a sign of lethargy.

For sure, the heat is expected to return, in the days nearing the polling day on March 23.

Nevertheless, programmes involving meet-the-people, walkabout and home visit sessions are in full steam, courtesy of the two election machineries of Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR), followed by political talks in the evening.

However, the political talks, though well-organised by BN and PR could not lure the people to full capacity — as would have been the norm in previous by-elections — probably because most of them would rather be relaxing at home due to the hot spell, or opted to keep abreast on the latest events unfolding, in the case of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

For pensioner Abdul Rahim Ibrahim, 57, from Kampung Sungai Kantan, hot weather, coupled with the haze, has forced him to reduce outdoor activities.

“I am aware that the candidates (for the by-election) are distributing posters and manifesto during their visits here,” he told Bernama.

Another pensioner, Abdul Rahim Ibrahim, 57, from Kampung Sungai Kantan, is also remaining indoors due to hot weather, coupled with the haze.

Julia Shahri, 59, from Kampung Batu 12 Jalan Cheras said although talks from the two candidates were held close to her home, she chose to remain indoors to keep track on the missing Flight MH370.

“I have attended several talks by the candidates but considering the haze is getting worse, of late, and the disappearance of the missing aircaft, I chose to stay at home.

“I constantly follow developments involving the two issues through the media,” she said.

Rabiah Sapuan, 64, from Kampung Paya said she attended programmes of the candidates, only when they were held in closed areas like community halls.

“I’m trying to minimise outdoor activities due to the hot weather and the haze. If I need to go out, I will wear the face mask,” she said.

Housewife, Lim Swee Ling, 43, from Kampung Baru Sungai Chua said both candidates were actively campaigning house-to-house.

“When they came to my house, I took the opportunity to highlight problems faced by most people here, including the drainage system and garbage collection management,” she said.

Wong Ten Sang, 57, from Sungai Chua said he was impressed with the spirit of both candidates, who seemed to be actively campaigning ‘all over the place’.

The Kajang by-election will see a straight fight between BN’s Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (MCA) and PR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. The Kajang seat was vacated after incumbent Lee Chin Cheh (PKR) resigned on Jan 27 last year. — Bernama