PONTIAN, Nov 14 — Since being announced as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election on Oct 28, Karmaine Sardini, 66, has been a popular name in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency — both for the right and wrong reasons.
On the positive side, he is seen as an individual who is religiously inclined and was the Imam of Al-Muttaqin Mosque as well as advisor of Tahfiz Al-Irsyad Centre, both in Taman Sutera, Johor Baru and chairman of the Johor Religious Bureau. He was also the recipient of the Johor Baru District Level Exemplary Parent Award in 2009.
On the negative side, less than two hours after being announced as a PH candidate, the head of Tanjung Piai Bersatu division was not only labelled as an ‘old candidate’, but the Advanced Diploma in Architecture he had received from the Mara Institute of Technology in the 80’s was also said to be allegedly faked although many claimed that his qualification was legitimate.
In his campaign, Karmaine maintained his down-to-earth demeanour, while his calm and polite disposition, made the 66-year-old approachable to people of all ages and races living in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency.
Karmaine is seen as friendly with anyone he meets during the campaign.
While following his campaign, and observing at how he approached voters, not only was there laughter, he was so focused and listened to every word of the residents and made sure that the accompanying officials took notes of the meeting.
Voter Ahmad Firdaus Ahmad Harun, 26, said the leadership qualities of the former imam of Al-Muttaqin Mosque were similar to that of former deputy assemblyman Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik who was very friendly to the people, especially the youths.
Mah Seng Yue, 44, from Kukup, who met the PH candidate for the first time said she was excited to meet with the candidate with an easy demeanour and believed the government’s decision to cast Karmaine as a candidate was spot-on.
Karmaine faces former Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Dr Wee Jeck Seng, Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), and Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz of the Islamiah (Berjasa) and two independent candidates, Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar in the contest.
The Election Commission has set this Saturday as polling day for the Tanjung Piai by-election which is held following the death of incumbent Md Farid, 42, on September 21 due to heart complications. — Bernama