KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The clock is ticking and most Malaysians have probably made up their mind on who will be their preferred candidate on the 15th general election (GE15) ballot paper tomorrow.

One of the seats that has grabbed much attention since nomination day is Kuala Selangor.

It will see a four-cornered fight tomorrow, involving Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Mohd Noor Mohd Shahar and Pejuang’s Mohd Shaid Rosli.

The spotlight has been on 49-year-old Tengku Zafrul and 66-year-old Dr Dzulkefly in this clash.


Kuala Selangor is considered a semi-urban town known for its fresh seafood and tourist attractions.

Its proximity to Klang Valley has become advantageous to small traders and restaurant operators.

However, the traders at the wet market in the Pasir Penambang neighbourhood did not seem satisfied with business during the post-pandemic era.


Some of them said their business has been affected since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and hasn’t seen a full recovery yet.

A woman selling fresh seafood said some days they had a lot of customers but some days are just too quiet.

“We just make what we can, but if the crowd is less then we don’t make much sales.”

To evaluate the candidates’ familiarity among the locals, Malay Mail showed photos of the four contenders to random people around Kuala Selangor.

Generally, Dr Dzulkefly and Tengku Zafrul were familiar faces among the locals but with differing views.

Most of the locals, especially the older ones, recognised Dr Dzulkefly in his capacity as the MP and some of them said they had even met him in person in the past.

When asked about their opinion about Dzulkefly, some of the answers were just “okay lah” or “boleh lah”.

The familiarity among the locals is possibly because Dr Dzulkefly served the constituency for two terms from 2008 to 2013 under PAS and again from 2018 to 2022 under PH.

In GE14, he won the seat with a majority of 8,498, beating his BN and PAS rivals.

In fact, Dr Dzulkefly had announced prior to the parliament dissolution that he would not be seeking re-election in GE15.

He, however, reversed his decision after his party, Amanah, called on him to defend the seat.

As for Tengku Zafrul, he is mostly viewed as a fresh face in Kuala Selangor.

Some of the locals said although they recognise Tengku Zafrul in his capacity as the finance minister, they still didn’t know much about him.

The corporate-figure-turned-politician entered the world of politics when the PN government appointed him as Malaysia’s first technocratic finance minister in March 2020.

Although this is his first time contesting in a general election, Tengku Zafrul appeared to hit the campaign trail strongly by fully utilising on-ground and digital avenues.

What was visibly prominent in Kuala Selangor was the campaigning scale and strategies of both candidates that were in stark contrast with each other.

Barisan Nasional election paraphernalia was seen dominating various areas in Kuala Selangor. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Barisan Nasional election paraphernalia was seen dominating various areas in Kuala Selangor. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

On the ground, banners and election promotional gear of the BN candidate overwhelmed its other rivals.

Tengku Zafrul, who is also the caretaker finance minister, was seen hosting more large-scale events with more crowds when compared to his contender Dr Dzulkefly.

The contrast was also seen on social media platforms of both rivals.

Tengku Zafrul is seen as much more aggressive online by posting regular photos and professionally-edited video clips on his campaign trail.

Dr Dzulkefly, on the other hand, said he prefers the conventional campaigning method by making house visits and meeting people during his walkabouts.

Both candidates seemed hopeful and felt they had the upper hand over the other.

Tengku Zafrul found the sentiment on the ground positive for him and his party.

He came up with the slogan “listen, empathise and resolve” that aims to tackle issues facing people of Kuala Selangor.

“People want to know what we have to offer here.

“We have come up with areas and issues we would like to tackle in line with our slogan.”

He said his top priority in the constituency is to resolve the daily issues that have yet to be resolved.

Dr Dzulkefly, who served as health minister during PH’s 22-month stint in government said the advantage of an incumbent is their track record.

He added that he already has programmes in place to improve the basic livelihood of the people and micro business owners in Kuala Selangor.

“I have been working on improving the infrastructure for flood mitigation efforts.

“I am also concerned about the youth and have been improving sports facilities around here to address their needs.”

He also released a performance report yesterday that documented his programmes and initiatives for Kuala Selangor from 2018 until 2022.

There are 102,951 eligible voters in Kuala Selangor with about 55 per cent being below 40 years old.

Malaysians will hit the polls tomorrow at 8am.