GOMBAK, April 28 — Despite having won the Selangor state seat of Hulu Kelang for the past two general elections, Saari Sungib sees himself as the underdog in GE14.
The Hulu Kelang incumbent assemblyman, who is batting for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) team in a three-way fight, said he will have a tough time defending the seat against his former party PAS and the Barisan Nasional (BN).
Saari had captured the seat in 2008 and retained it in 2013 under PAS, but left for Parti Amanah Negara following the Selangor crisis in 2014.
Speaking to reporters here after the Election Commission confirmed his candidacy this morning, Saari said he expected to lose some votes to PAS this round.
He also claimed the recent redelineation exercise in March would affect his chances as well.
“We see a shift in Malay voters, but an increase in Indian and Chinese voters. I still see myself potentially having 200 to 300 fewer votes,” he said.
But the former PKR leader who is standing under the party’s “blue eye” logo again for GE14 said he will be counting on the support of the non-Malays in the state seat.
Hulu Kelang, which Saari had won with a majority of 2,881 votes, is one of three state seats under the Gombak parliamentary seat, which is being defended by PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Saari is being challenged by Kamalulhysham Mohd Suhut from PAS dan BN’s Ismail Ahmad.
Ismail said the “nightmare” of water disruptions affecting parts of the state would be solved should the party regain control of the state.
“I do not want to say a lot, but what is important is the water infrastructure of the state must stop being a nightmare,” he said after the EC also confirmed him as a candidate for Hulu Kelang.
“The people of Gombak are the highest recipients of BR1M and I feel they are grateful to be with BN,” he added.
Campaigning officially kicks off today. Candidates have 11 days to sway undecided voters before polling on May 9.