NIBONG TEBAL: Elections are not the venue for certain parties to determine voters’ religious beliefs, but should instead be a platform for political parties to explain their plans and agenda for the people should they emerge victorious, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said.

Should any party attempt to do so, they should not be supported in any campaign, he added.

“Election campaigning means both parties go up against each other with their policies, plans, agenda when they get the right to administrate and what are their efforts to help the people.

“Elections are not the venue for us to say ‘Choose us and it means you’re a Muslim and if you don’t, you’re not our kin’. You can’t do that. This isn’t out determining voter’s beliefs but about how we run the country,” he said during a speech at the first Unity Talk programme for the Sungai Bakap by-election at Taman Widuri, Sungai Jawi last night.

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, Amanah strategic director Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, UMNO supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Sungai Bakap by-election Dr Joohari Ariffin were also present at the talk.

Saifuddin Nasution also said that Sungai Bakap residents were lucky to have a candidate with excellent credentials.

“You need to have strong and trustworthy leadership skills to be a state leader, so it’s good to elect him (Joohari) as your representative here (Sungai Bakap).

“... insya-Allah there’ll be a lot of advantages if Sungai Bakap voters elect the Unity Government candidate as there are many executive councillors in the state government who can help out, along with those at the Federal level,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohamad urged ‘old friends’ from Barisan Nasional (BN) to support the Unity Government candidate to ensure that victory will be theirs.

“I was also with BN previously. BN works hard, if everyone votes our candidate from the Unity Government, I’m convinced we can win even if our rivals play up racial issues,” he said.

PH candidate Joohari is going against Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Abidin Ismail in a straight fight, with polling day set for July 6.