SEMENYIH, March 1 — The afternoon rain has cooled down the hot and humid weather in Semenyih town today and at the same time cool off the ‘hot political weather’ which was at its peak last night.

The going was rough and tough for both sides of the political divide — Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) — where the former is defending the Semenyih state seat following the death of its assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor.

The grand finale of the campaign trail was last night when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hit the trail speaking to some 2,000-odd crowd at Tesco Semenyih while Acting Umno president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan and PAS deputy president Tuan Man Tuan Ibrahim took the stage in front some more than 2,000-odd crowd at Bukit Mahkota, few kilometres away.

It was not just a show of force by leaders of the warring parties but more so to equal the numbers that party workers and analysts have been recording.


With BN in the lead by a small number, PH campaigners had hoped Dr Mahathir would turn the tables.

Since February 16 when nominations began, the ruling coalition has been in the defensive throughout the campaign trail where issues on unfulfilled promises and race and religion took centre stage.

BN, headed by acting Umno president Datuk Seri Muhammad Hassan, had also ‘wisely’ selected its candidate by picking Zakaria Hanafi who is a popular figure in the constituency and is easy to market among the Malay constituents.


PH, besides being defensive, had picked Muhammad Aiman Zainali  — a 30-year old engineer who the ruling coalition had to introduce to the constituents before campaigners could present his credentials.

PH is also bogged down by the perception that it is dominated by the Chinese-based party DAP which further made it difficult to change the mindset of the Malays voters.

Malay voters are the target of the warring parties — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Umno — because their votes will determine the winner, given that the Chinese and Indians votes alone will not bring the winning numbers.

The constituency comprising 69 per cent Malays with 16.8 per cent Chinese and 13 per cent Indians that makes a total 53,411 minus those who voted early on Wednesday.