SEMENYIH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan is fielding the son-in-law of a late lawmaker in a by-election for the latter's seat as it seeks to overcome the opposition Barisan Nasional's comeback momentum.
The candidacy of Muhammad Aiman Zainali, a 30-year-old engineer, for the seat of Semenyih, Selangor, was announced on Thursday (Feb 14) by Pakatan deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also president of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
Also present at the announcement ceremony were PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir and Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.
Muhammad Aiman is a native of Semenyih and treasurer of PPBM's chapter in Selangor's Hulu Langat district. The father of one is currently pursuing a doctorate in electrical engineering at Universiti Teknologi Mara.
The Semenyih by-election will be held on March 2, with nomination day set for Saturday (Feb 16).
Pakatan had lost the previous by-election for Cameron Highlands to erstwhile ruling party Umno, who leads the Barisan Nasional opposition camp.
The Semenyih race is shaping up to be a four-way contest with Barisan, Parti Sosialis Malaysia and independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng having announced that they would be challenging Pakatan.
The by-election was triggered after the incumbent, PPBM politician Bakhtiar, died of a heart attack on Jan 11.
Bakhtiar had won the seat in last May's general election by 8,694 votes over his closest opponent, Barisan's Johan Abd Aziz, in a four-way fight.