PH committed to fair campaign in Padang Serai despite PN's aggressive approach

PADANG SERAI: Pakatan Harapan today expressed commitment to a fair campaign in the Padang Serai parliamentary seat despite being at the receiving end of Perikatan Nasional's aggressive campaigning.

PH candidate Dr Mohamad Sofee Razak said as part of the newly-formed federal government, the coalition opted to set a good example for the other parties in the race.

"PH as the government of the day, we will not resort to aggressive campaigning, but I notice that the other side (PN) is playing up racial and religious issues, they are still attacking the prime minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim), which to me, should not happen.

"To us, we will continue to campaign fairly and not resort to personal attack. We will set a good example as the government," he said when met during a house-to-house campaign in Taman Ria here today.

On a related matter, Sofee said he respected Barisan Nasional's candidate Datuk C. Sivaraj's stand not to make way for PH to have a straight fight with PN in the race.

"I highly respect his view. I made the suggestion (for BN to make way) earlier based on the fact that we (PKR) have been contesting in Padang Serai since 1999.

"We lost both in the 1999 and 2004 polls, but we have been winning Padang Serai since 2008.

"Hence, I made the request for BN to compromise based on the fact that PH has held the seat," he said.

It was reported earlier that Sofee made the request after PH and BN formed an alliance with other parties to end the stalemate of new federal government.

This was after not one coalition was able to secure simple majority in the 15th General Election (GE15) held on Nov 19.

However, earlier today Sivaraj made it clear that he would not drop out from the race as he had been working for the constituents for the past three years.

Instead, Sivaraj stressed that Sofee should make way since he had only arrived in Padang Serai just before nomination day recently.

Commenting further, Sofee said he was still hopeful that the top leadership in PH and BN would be able to reach an understanding over the matter soon.

"It would be better for PH with the support of BN, to have a straight fight with PN.

"But if it is not meant to be, then we will compete in a healthy manner," he said.

The Padang Serai parliamentary seat was previously held by PH's M. Karupaiya when he secured a 8,813 vote-majority win, beating MCA candidate Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong and Mohammad Sobri Osman from Pas in the previous general election.

Karupaiya, 69, was nominated again by PH on Nov 5 to defend the seat. However, he died on Nov 16, two days after being admitted to Kulim Hospital due to a heart attack while campaigning.

Following his death, the Election Commission had decided to postpone the Padang Serai polls to Dec 7.

Padang Serai has 133,767 eligible voters, with 81,230 of the voters in Lunas state constituency while the remaining 52,546 voters in Merbau Pulas constituency.

It will be a six-cornered fight for the Padang Serai seat on Dec 7.

PH's Sofee will lock horns with BN's Sivaraj; Datuk Azman Nasrudin (PN); Mohd Bakhri Hashim (Warisan); Hamzah Abdul Rahman (Pejuang), and Sreanandha Rao (Independent).

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