By Himanshu Bhatt
SEBERANG PERAI: While PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and BN’s Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah were, as expected, confirmed as candidates for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election, a third surprise candidate emerged from little known Islamic party, the Angkatan Insan Malaysia (Akim).
Proclaiming to offer “renewal” to Malaysian society, trader Hanafi Hamat, 61, faced reporters by refusing to feel cowed in the presence of his two heavyweight rivals.
In an atmosphere akin to a massive carnival, some 30,000 supporters from all sides converged at the Institusi Perguruan Tuanku Bainun to show their support during the nominations for the seat.
Hanafi at first passed by almost unnoticed as he walked to the nomination hall until someone alerted the press, who were caught off-guard, that he was a new candidate for the highly publicised by-election.
When met later, Hanafi said he wanted to help eradicate social ills in Permatang Pauh, and that he would take a “house-to-house” approach in his campaign over the next 10 days.