A David versus Goliath battle is shaping up for the Bentong seat as new faces from Pakatan Nasional (PN) and independent candidates take on heavyweight politicians from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Five candidates are set to battle it out for the parliamentary seat, with incumbent Wong Tack to fight as an independent.
While PH announced Young Syefura Othman, fondly known as Rara as its candidate, BN has named former minister Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai as its candidate.
Others joining the foray are PN candidate Datuk Roslan Hassan and independent candidate Mohd Khalil Abdul Hamid.
Surprisingly, Wong Tack, who won the seat from Liow in previous elections, prefers to consider himself an underdog.
Wong Tack said he was adamant about bringing more development to Bentong even though he is now an independent candidate.
“We have a very formidable and solid team here in Bentong. I want to continue to serve the people here,” he said.
Wong Tack said he was not concerned about his DAP membership as his main focus was to serve the people.
“I am not wasting my time (submitting a resignation). Politics is about the people and I am good at people politics,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liow also took a jibe at Wong Tack, saying the latter had failed to deliver during his tenure as an MP.
“We need to think about why PH decided not to field Wong Tack here. Maybe because he failed to deliver a good result?
“I think the people in Bentong can make their own judgement. Nevertheless, I think the fight must be very tight here…we will see,” he said.
In the 14th General Election, Liow was defeated by Wong Tack, an environmental activist, with a majority of 2,032 votes.
Roslan, a businessman, said he was confident with the grassroot support in the constituency.
“They have their own strength and we have ours. I am not afraid of them. I hope the people of Bentong will choose wisely,” said the first-time candidate.
Young Seyfura, when met after the nomination process, said she will work hard to convince the voters to vote for PH.
She said that PH will set up a clean federal government led by party chairman, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“A vote for MCA is a vote for (BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi); a vote for PN is also a vote for him as they have worked together before.
“It is our duty to go to the ground and work hard to convince the people to support PH,” she said.
She is DAP’s deputy youth chief and the incumbent assemblyman for Ketari, one of four state constituencies under the Bentong seat, alongside Bilut, Sabai and Pelangai.
Bentong is a mixed parliamentary constituency and has around 87,058 voters according to this year’s data.
Four candidates will lock horns for the Bilut state seat. Mohd Shokri Mahmood from Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Datuk B Sri Chandra from PN, Wong Siew Mun from BN, and incumbent Lee Chin Cheng from PH have filed their candidacy.
As for the Ketari state seat, Su Keong Siong from PH, Willan Tan Wei Leong from PN, and Amizar Abu Adam (BN) will face off in a three-cornered fight.
The Sabai state seat will also have a three-way fight between Nurul Qomar Abdol Talib @ Ramali (PN), incumbent Kamache Doray Rajoo (PH), and V Arumugam (BN).
Four parties have filed nominations for the Pelangai state seat. They are Johari Harun (BN), Isa Ahmad (Pejuang), Ahmed Wafiuddin Shamsuri (PH), and Kasim Samat (PN). – NST