Voters appear to be favouring a local resident to represent them in the Rantau by-election which will be held soon.
Most of them generally felt a candidate who is a local would understand the needs and problems of the local community, apart from being humble and having cordial relations with the people.
Motorcycle shop owner, Thoo Chee Kian, 47, said he preferred a local resident as Rantau representative and the leader should not only be able to bring development, but also those desired by the local people.
“We want our assemblyperson to be a local resident so that the leader would know the intricacies of the place, as well as the needs and interests of residents here.
"If our representative is not from Rantau, he would not know the problems of the local community.
“Currently, I am very comfortable with the atmosphere in Rantau and the facilities available. But we hope more car parking space would be provided in Rantau town,” he told Bernama in Seremban.
Former private sector worker, S Mail Suradrin, 68, said a candidate from among local residents would be the key to continuous development in Rantau, as well as to resolve problems faced by the people here.
“A local boy will understand the issues in Rantau compared to an outsider who will take a longer time to appreciate the needs of the residents,” he said.
'Young and healthy'
Echoing a similar view was food stall assistant, Atikah Khairi, 25, who said being people-friendly and being close to the residents would be criteria for all contesting candidates.
“Overall, the area has experienced development with a few issues such as stray cattle on the road and in public places, as well as pollution in Sungai Linggi and Sungai Semin.
“Apart from that, public transport such as bus and taxi could be improved and there is a problem of telecommunication lines in several spots in this constituency,” she said.
Meanwhile, housewife, S Muniamah, 54, wants the local resident who is representing the area to be young and healthy.
She also wants the assemblyperson to go down to the ground to truly understand the people’s problems and should be approachable after winning the election.
“In other words, the representative has to understand the people’s needs and should be concerned about them," she said.
The Rantau by-election was called after the Federal Court on Feb 18 rejected the appeal of former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohamad Hasan to set aside the decision of the Seremban Special Election Court which declared his victory in Rantau in the 14th general election as null and void.
In April last year, PKR, through its candidate Dr S Streram, was not allowed to contest for not having a pass issued by the Election Commission to enter the nomination centre, which resulted in Mohamad, who is Umno deputy president, being declared the winner of the seat without contest.
Streram later filed a petition with the court on May 23 last year to seek a by-election after contending that Mohamad’s victory should be declared invalid.