PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s Halimey Abu Bakar (pic) will reject any attempt to use racial and religious rhetoric as campaigning tools in the coming Seri Setia polls.
“The harmony in Seri Setia’s diverse multi-racial setting cannot be affected by racist attitudes.
“I want to stress here that I will not compromise with those who try to stoke the fires of hate and prejudice among us,” said the Pakatan candidate to reporters at a press conference in Kelana Jaya on Monday (Aug 27).
Halimey’s words came following disparaging remarks by controversial Umno leader Datuk Lokman Noor Adam on Saturday (Aug 25) during a ceramah.
According to a report by The Malaysian Insight, Lokman had said the Umno-PAS cooperation for the upcoming Seri Setia polls was necessary to defend Malay rights, Islam and the royal institutions.
Halimey, however, clarified that his remarks were not specifically in response to Lokman.
“I wasn’t referring to anyone,” he said, pointing out that PAS is a religious-based party that does not have a non-Muslim leader.
According to Halimey, the only non-Malays in the Islamist party are those in its PAS Supporters Club, which is chaired by Datuk K. Deepakaran.
“There are no (non-Malays) in its central leadership,” he added.
Unlike PAS, Halimey pointed out that Pakatan’s top and grassroots leadership was multiracial in composition, adding that its Kelana Jaya branch is led by an Indian.
“So, it is obvious that our leadership also consisted of Chinese and Indians, not just Malays,” he added.
According to Halimey, the Selangor state government, helmed by Pakatan since 2008, had always championed the principles of diversity in its state administration, which is evident in its Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat (IPR).
“All applications will be looked into fairly and approvals will be given to those qualified, without taking into account whether they are Malays, Chinese or Indians,” he added.
In GE14, Pakatan won the four-cornered fight for the seat with a 19,732 majority against Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Yusoff HM Haniff (9,878 votes), PAS’ Mohd Ghazali Daud (4,563 votes) and
independent candidate Dr S. Vignes (217 votes).
Halimey, a first-time candidate, will be facing off against PAS’ Dr Halimah Ali, who’s a former Selat Kelang assemblyman and a former Selangor state executive councillor.
The Seri Setia polls, which was triggered following the death of its incumbent Prof Dr Shahruddin Badaruddin, will run concurrently with the Balakong polls on Sept 8.