SIMPANG RENGGAM, Oct 10 — Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Simpang Renggam candidate Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad has today lauded community dialogue engagements as a better campaign method, compared to public debates.
After declining a debate with rival Maszlee Malik, Hasni claimed that the dialogues were a positive way to forge a closer bond with the constituents, especially with rural voters.
“At the same time, we will also understand their thoughts and the problems faced by them. For me, there is nothing to prove through debates, because in the end there will not be any solutions to benefit the people.
“With debates, they can only ‘watch’ your arguments instead of sharing their problems,” said Hasni during a dialogue session with non-governmental organisations (NGO) at Warung Wak Kayun in Kampung Sahari here.
He was accompanied by Simpang Renggam BN chief Datuk Zakaria Dullah, who is also the division’s Umno chief.
On Sunday, Hasni was reported to have declined an invitation by Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Maszlee for a debate.
The former Johor mentri besar said having dialogue sessions would be more beneficial for him and the constituents.
“As we listen to the [constituents‘ questions, we understand how the villagers feel and also their thoughts on the many issues that they face,” said Hasni, who is also the Benut assemblyman.
On his campaign progress, Hasni said the constituents are receptive to BN’s programmes.
He said the dialogue sessions have allowed him to solve the constituents’ problems such as the economy, cost of living and other local issues.
“I am confident that I can look into the community’s issues here and also represent Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi’s state constituency of Machap (which is under the Simpang Renggam parliament).
“This is the approach that we are taking. Together with the introduction of BN’s Manifesto, we see that we can do a lot more to assist the people of Simpang Renggam,” said the seasoned 63-year-old politician.
On the 48 per cent of Simpang Renggam’s non-Malay voters, with the Chinese community making up 30 per cent, Hasni said it was not a problem for him to provide the same equal treatment to them.
“As the potential Simpang Renggam MP, the candidate must be prepared to represent all the races here.
“The level of acceptance by the Chinese and Indian community on my candidature as their representative is good based on several recent engagements.
“There is goodwill shown by all races here and that is an early indicator that I am accepted and can be translated into votes,” said Hasni.
The Johor BN and Umno chief is known to have a pleasant demeanour and is known to avoid confrontations. He has been credited with BN’s supermajority win during the Johor state election in March.
Hasni will be taking on Maszlee, who is the incumbent MP and former federal minister, Fazrul Kamat of Perikatan Nasional and Kamal Kusmin of Gabungan Tanah Air in a four-cornered contest.