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Independent candidate Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar has finally made a public appearance, just seven days before the Tanjung Piai by-election. (NSTP/JUNITA MAT RASID)

PONTIAN: Independent candidate Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar has finally made a public appearance, just seven days before the Tanjung Piai by-election.

She explained that her absence from the campaign trail had been due to insufficient funds to carry out large-scale programmes.

“Regardless, we will use the next seven days to campaign as much as we can. We will cover all 27 polling districts.

“We have planned our moves until election day, starting today,” she said at her first media conference in Serkat here, on Friday.

Also present at the event was Blue Capital (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, who had to withdraw his candidacy for the by-election after suffering a heart attack a day before nomination day on Nov 2.

Faridah said that the focus of her campaign will be championing the plight of the bottom 40 (B40) group.

“I am a single mother. I raised four children on my own, and now they are all grown-ups.

“I understand how the B40 group is suffering, because I am still one of them.

“If I am given the mandate, I will (be the voice of) Tanjung Piai voters and all B40 in this country, until we are really looked after,” she added.

Asked about her chances of winning the by-election, and whether Malay and Chinese constituents would vote for her, Faridah said: “I just don’t want to lose my deposit.”

The Tanjung Piai by-election is being held following the heart attack death on Sept 21 of incumbent Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, who was also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

In the 14th general election, Dr Md Farid won the parliamentary seat with a 524-vote majority, triumphing over Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (Barisan Nasional) and Nordin Othman (Pas).

The Tanjung Piai by-election will be held on Nov 16, while early voting is set for Nov 12.

Those contesting for the seat are Faridah, Karmaine Sardini (Pakatan Harapan), Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (Barisan Nasional), Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and another independent candidate, Dr Ang Chuan Lock.

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