PSM to field youth member from PAS family for Semenyih by-election

PSM president, Nasir Hashim, PSM candidate for Semenyih, Nik Aziz Afiq, and PSM party election director, S. Arutchelvan, smile during a press conference in Semenyih February 13, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SEMENYIH, Feb 13 — Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) today announced youth member 25-year-old social activist Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul as its candidate for the Semenyih by-election.

PSM campaign manager and central committee member S. Arutchelvan said Nik Aziz, who hails from a family of PAS stalwarts, was initially supposed to run for the assembly seat during the 14th general election. 

“Due to the delineation exercise that took place at that time, it was not possible. But now there is finally an opportunity for Nik Aziz to represent Semenyih’s constituents and bring up the issues facing them in the legislature,” he said during a press conference in the constituency tonight.

Arutchelvan said many think that socialists tend to be from the older generation, which is not true.

“Nowadays, in Malaysia, we see many youths becoming more and more socialist because they do not agree with the current system.

“PSM will not engage in racism during the campaign trail, and we will declare our assets to show the rakyat we have nothing to hide,” he said.

Nik Aziz said the primary motivation for him to contest the by-election is the worry that the Selangor state government under PKR may one day become too comfortable with its position.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We are worried the Selangor government will one day become corrupt.

“Hence, the importance to have checks and balances within the state government. We should ask ourselves: Do we want an Opposition mired in scandal and corruption, or engages in racist rhetoric, or one which continues to struggle for the people?” he said.

Nik Aziz said this is a chance for the people of Semenyih to make a difference, and support PSM in its aims of social justice and equal distribution of wealth, among others.

“We have the opportunity to differentiate ourselves from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan, whom I call upon to give us the chance to place a representative in the state legislature come March 2,” he said.

Despite strong support for PAS in his family — with his father having served as the Selangor communications secretary from 1993 to 1995 as well as the state campaign manager in the 1995 general election — Nik Aziz said he did not see a conflict in being a PSM member.

“I have always believed that the party’s focus on struggling for the rakyat does not run contrary to Islam’s teachings, as the faith has always upheld social justice for those who cannot defend themselves. 

“In fact, I consider (former PAS spiritual leader) Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat as one of my idols, having been named after him. His constant reminder to always provide for those less fortunate inspired me to engage in social activism to begin with,” said Nik Aziz

Most of his social activism took place in Kelantan, where Nik Aziz pursued Islamic studies at the Sultan Ismail Petra International Islamic College in Nilam Puri from 2012 to 2015.

It included organising flood relief programmes, securing humanitarian aid for the seven Orang Asli children who went missing in 2015, assisting single mothers faced with difficulties while studying in Kelantan, and organising guidance classes for students at the Bangi Jaya low-cost apartment in Semenyih.

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