JOHOR BARU, Aug 29 — Samsudin Mohamad Fauzi who is contesting the Pulai parliamentary by-election as an independent candidate said he is confident that voters will evaluate him based on his abilities and not place of origin.
He hoped that his status as an “outsider” contesting in the seat will not be deter voters.
“It actually should not be made into an issue and ideally voters should look at what I have to offer Pulai for the next five years.
“I am confident that voters in this parliamentary constituency are open-minded and understand my struggle,” Samsudin told reporters during his campaign trial in Kempas here today.
Samsudin, who was born in Kluang, Johor, was explaining his candidacy in the Pulai federal seat as he was initially considered to be from Kuala Lumpur and had no ties to the state.
The 47-year-old consumer safety activist, who will contest using the key logo, is in a three-way contest with Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Zulkifli Jaafar and Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Suhaizan Kayat.
Samsudin, who is the Kuala Lumpur Consumer Safety Association (PKPKL) president, said that many did not know that he was born in Kluang and had many family members here.
“For me, my struggle is not aimed at pursuing power or positions, but rather to bring the people’s voice to the national level,” he said.
Samsudin said he will try to attract voters based on his activism work in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and towards his goal of being an effective elected federal representative.
He said that not being a politician does not deter him from contesting as he has leadership background in his NGO as a platform.
“I believe that Parliament can be a more effective legislative body if there is a third block, which is made up of independent representatives from various NGOs,” he said.
Samsudin said he hopes to appeal to his voters who were also tired of the never-ending disagreements among politicians.
At the same time, he said there has been a growing need to address consumer issues and public safety in Parliament.
“From my campaign experience, I noticed that voters are more receptive when they know that I have experience in an NGO compared to a political party.
“So, it is obvious that the public are affected by the rising cost of goods and so on,” he said.
On his previous attempt as a Putrajaya parliamentary candidate in last year’s 15th general election (GE15), Samsudin said he used the past experience as a guide for contesting in Pulai.
“I faced various constraints and challenges on my first outing in Putrajaya as my campaign materials were only ready several days before polling.
“This time, I was better prepared based on my past experience as a candidate,” he said, adding that those who followed his progress on social media had also gave him encouragement.
The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections are being held following the death of its incumbent, Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, on July 23.
Salahuddin, the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president, was 61. He was also the domestic trade and cost of living minister.
The Election Commission set polling day for both by-elections as September 9, with early voting on September 5.