BENTONG: Independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli appears to be fighting his own battle in his quest to cause an upset in the Pelangai by-election on Oct 7.
His campaign workers only consist of some 10 individuals including his father Datuk Zulhasli Abd Rahman, siblings, uncle, nephew and other relatives.
The former Umno member, who was automatically sacked from the party after choosing to contest in Pelangai has chose not to put up any billboards, banners, posters or distribute pamphlets during the campaign.
The 36-year-old businessman, who is using the car symbol in the by-election, said his election machinery in Pelangai consists of his own family members, relatives and few close friends.
"My family and relatives live here. My father stays in Kampung Bukit Gajah while my uncle is from Kampung Baris and we have relatives from other traditional villages assisting.....no outside assistance, only within my family.
"The elderly in my family accompany me during my door-to-door campaigns so it is easier for them to introduce me to the villagers and the voters know whose son I am. Some people told me they prefer voting for the independent candidate as those representing political parties seem to have internal issues at the grassroots and this is certainly good news for me," he said when met in Pelangai.
On his campaign, Haslihelmy said he will usually leave his father's house about 7am for breakfast at a selected location where he will meet and greet the people at the respective premises before moving to other locations.
"Youths at Felda schemes and traditional villages have been providing a lot of support and encouragement. They feel comfortable to speak to me about their concerns as they see me as a fresh candidate who is able to mix well with the young generation and understand their sentiments.
"I might have a small team assisting in Pelangai and based on the feedback I received,.. it has been impactful. After four days of campaigning, I have gone to the Felda schemes and traditional villages, and the next 10 days will involve another round of visits to these areas," he said.
Meanwhile, the Pertubuhan Suara Anak Pahang (PSAP) president stressed that he was not sponsored by any parties including Barisan Nasional(BN) and Perikatan Nasional(PN) in the by election.
"I am using my own savings from my retail and beverage business. No one is providing any financial backing.
"Based on my experience helping to campaign for Umno in the past, distributing campaign materials has minimal effect so I have decided to adopt a personal touch by visiting door-to-door to campaign in Pelangai...people remember me better and allow two way communication," he said.
Haslihelmy is against BN's Datuk Amizar Abu Adam and Perikatan Nasional's Kasim Samat in a three-cornered fight for the Oct 7 polls.
On Sept 23, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Haslihelmy had been automatically dropped as a Umno member for contesting as an independent. He was previously Kampung Sum-Sum branch member in Janda baik.