JOHOR BARU, Aug 28 — Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Pulai parliamentary candidate Zulkifli Jaafar lauded the Johor government’s prohibition on political campaigning in mosques and suraus during the by-elections.
He said all parties in the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-election campaigns must adhere to the ban to avoid division and to preserve the sanctity of the Muslim place of worship.
“I don’t even wear my (political) party clothes when going to the mosque or surau for my prayers, apart from respecting the ban,” he said when met during a afternoon walkabout in Taman Kemas here today.
However, Zulkifli said the ban did not affect his campaign schedule in Pulai.
“Since the campaign started three days ago, my election machinery is mindful about selecting suitable locations that comply with the set guidelines.
“In fact, my election machinery also ensures that the selected locations are accessible to voters,” said the Pulai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) division deputy chief.
Zulkifli, who is on his first maiden campaign as a candidate, said he will try to engage at least 400 voters a day throughout the campaign period.
Despite the high number of engagements, the 50-year-old entrepreneur said it has become his habit to fulfil a busy schedule.
“Previously, I travelled with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and had to often travel long distances.
“I am actually used to it, including any last-minute changes due to the weather,” said Zulkifli.
On his campaign trail in Pulai, Zulkifli said he had the advantage of being a local as most of the community here knows him.
He said that the remaining campaign period will also see him focusing on the livelihood and well-being of the people in the area.
“I am grateful because a large majority of the voters here know me,” he said.
On Sunday, the state government prohibited all political parties, including candidates contesting in the two Johor by-elections, from campaigning in mosques and suraus.
Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid was reported to have said that the ban does not involve Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi or parties who have obtained approval from the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ).