SEMPORNA: It has been Taraji Ahmad’s long-time dream to contest in a state election which is finally realised at the ripe old age of 75.
The oldest candidate in the 16th Sabah state election who is vying for the Bugaya seat said he is still capable and in good health to carry out his duties if elected.
“I would like to set up at least two small and-medium enterprise (SME) factories related to fisheries and its end products in this area to create jobs for the people so that they do not have to migrate from this area,” he told Bernama when met at his home in Kampung Keramat near here.
The father of seven from Kampung Bubul Semporna, who is also Semporna Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS) chief will be facing a seven-cornered fight with the seat’s incumbent, Manis Muka Mohd Darah of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), as well as candidates from the United Sabah National Organisation (USNO), Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), Perikatan Nasional (PN-Bersatu) and two independent candidates.
A former boat driver with the Department of Agriculture, who is of Bajau descendant, Taraji said he wanted issues relating to the people’s wellbeing, education and standard of living to be given priority if he was elected as Bugaya representative.
Asked on the chances of him winning the seat, Taraji said with the help of the party’s election machinery he would work hard to win the people’s heart and he believed that, in politics, anything is possible.
Meanwhile, Taraji’s second child, Sahipul Muluk, 45, said the family would always stand by their father no matter what.
Although worried about the current COVID-19 situation, Sahipul said his father as well as the campaign machinery would comply with the standard operating procedures set to avoid any risk.
The Bugaya constituency has a total of 20,267 registered voters and the majority of its people are of Bajau and Suluk ethnicities, mostly working as fishermen and farmers.
Voters in the area are made up of mostly those in the 30-39 age bracket (30.67 per cent), followed by 40-49 (20.17 per cent) and 70-79 (3.12).