Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Chinese speaking Arif Shah is BN man
The battle for Permatang Pauh will be between the BN's Arif Shah (left) and PKR's Anwar Ibrahim
The Barisan Nasional is fielding Seberang Jaya Assemblyman Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah for Permatang Pauh. Arif Shah speaks Mandarin and Hokkein fluently, a key factor, which Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must have taken into consideration in the bid to win over the crucial Chinese votes. Arif Shah received his primary and secondary school education in Chinese schools before going to the US to study civil engineering. He also acts as an advisor for Tamil clubs in his constituency, another plus point for him. Arif is known for his constituency work in Seberang Jaya - the state constituency in Permatang Pauh said to have delivered the largest chunk of BN votes. Still, Arif Shah would go into the contest as an underdog. His job is to reduce the opposition majority. His entry into the by-election is already unprecedented in Umno as the party never fields the same person for state and parliamentary constituencies but this is an unprecedented event. Both sides are playing the "underdog" tag in a move to stop any form of complacency in the polls.