Umno’s Zakaria Hanafi picked as BN candidate for Semenyih by-election

(From left) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Zakaria Hanafi and Datuk Mohamad Hasan pose for pictures in Semenyih February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
(From left) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Zakaria Hanafi and Datuk Mohamad Hasan pose for pictures in Semenyih February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SEMENYIH, Feb 14 — Former Umno Hulu Langat chief Zakaria Hanafi will contest on the Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket in the Semenyih by-election, the party’s acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said today

“I want to thank MCA, MIC and PAS letting BN name a candidate from our ranks,” said the 58-year-old Mohamad.

“We want to wrest Semenyih back from PH. People are worried, angry as so many promises haven’t been met by PH,” he said, referring to Pakatan Harapan, which ousted BN from power in the general election last May.

Zakaria is a former University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) assistant administrator from 2005-2016 and possesses a bachelor's degree in Science with honours.

He was a former Umno branch chief at Hulu Langat and is the current secretary for Tabung Khairat in Kampung Sesapan Kelubi in Beranang, a post he has held since 2003.

Unlike the Cameron Highland parliament seat, Semenyih is a state seat and hence, Mohamad said a man of the people was necessary.

He admitted that it would be difficult for BN to compete with government machinery.

When asked if BN could guarantee that it would not use money politics to influence the voters, he said: “What money? Our accounts are frozen. Admittedly we can’t compete with a huge government machinery but nothing is impossible.

“PH also won by lying to the people. Till today they’re clueless how to run the country. You know why? Because they all have fake degrees.

Mohamad highlighted promises that he claimed PH had not fulfilled, leading to the coalition’s loss in the Cameron Highlands by-election.

“I urge all voters in Semenyih to show your displeasure towards the PH government, who have reneged on so many promises, by voting for us,” he added.

The Semenyih by-election was called following the death of assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, 57, of PPBM, of a heart attack on January 11.

Close to two-thirds of the 50,000 over voters there are Malays, followed by Chinese at 17 per cent and Indians 14 per cent.

To a question on whether the BN and PAS will incite racial and religious sentiments in the race, which is a crime according to the Election Commission, Mohamad said: “I don’t see anything wrong in Malays and Muslims are working together in harmony.”

Voting day for the Semenyih by-election is on March 2.

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