From rapper to rep of the people, Altimet says politics was a natural transition

08 Aug 2023 08:28pm
Altimet says his transition from a music career to politics was natural - SINAR PHOTO
Altimet says his transition from a music career to politics was natural - SINAR PHOTO

SHAH ALAM - Lembah Jaya state seat candidate Syed Ahmad Syed Abdul Rahman Alhadad, 45, better known as Altimet, says his transition from a music career to politics was natural.

"My philosophy has always been that hip hop is 'lagu rakyat' songs that tell the story of the people or how they are feeling, the situation that they are in.

"What also played a factor is that being an independent musician or a creative entrepreneur, you become sensitive to the state of the local economy, because for entrepreneurs in the creative industry most of the time you sell a product or provide a service that is a want not a need.

"So if the economy is not doing well people would focus on spending their money towards their needs more than their wants, the more mindful I became of our national economy, the more I realised that it is tied to the political state of the country," he said during Sinar Daily's Top News Podcast session.

He elaborated that one of the major milestones that propelled him into the world of politics was also the day he became a dad.

"Another major milestone also for me is having children, I live for them, I worry for their future and being a entrepreneur you are a proactive person - being worried about the state of our nation’s future, Selangor's future being concerned about it - keeping an eye on it - that's when I sort of decided that its time for me to more active in the leadership," he added.

Altimet, who joined PKR in April 2021, said him contesting the Lembah Jaya state seat in the Selangor state election was not meant to further propel his already successful music career or popularity.

"When I wanted to become politically active, I went and saw and talked to members of six political parties.

"Some of them because of their direction, I did not like very much as some of them came across as - it might be my bias but I thought they looked down on me because I am a musician. The only party that kind of immediately accepted me with open arms was PKR, and I think that the party is the right fit for me," he said

Altimet said of the main reasons for his foray into politics was about making a difference and serving the people.

"My main motivation is the future of Malaysia - I grew up in a pretty awesome Malaysia, I had an awesome childhood and I want my children and future grandchildren to have a more awesome childhood than me.

"So I am trying to make that into a reality by being politically active, its never 100 per cent you always run a risk of are going to succeed or are you going to fail - there is a chance of u failing but does that mean you don’t try.

"I walked way from performing at 2019 as a musician-entrepreneur at the height of an earning capability from a creative perspective wildest billing amounts... and to tell myself its not about the money - don’t worry I have enough for my children to retire comfortably, it's not about the fame - I walked away from all that.

"It's about me not having to tell my children to be forced out, to move out of Malaysia because there is little opportunity for you here, it's about making a difference," he said.

When asked why he had decided to contest now in the Selangor state polls despiting being offered a chance to contest in the last year's 15th General Election (GE15), Altimet said it was due to timing and experience.

"The last time I was asked to contest I felt like I did not have enough experience, I still feel like I don't have enough experience now but I have more than when I was offered about 10 to 12 months ago.

"I have been working as a facilitator in Lembah Jaya for the state government for the last nine to 10 months, I have made friends with the community leaders here, I know the issues affecting the people here very well. The party leadership has the confidence in me think I would do well here, so I am answering the call so to speak." he said.

At Lembah Jaya, Altimet is in a straight fight with Perikatan Nasional's Sharifah Haslizah Syed Ariffin, who is Ampang Pas information chief.

The seat was previously held by Haniza Talha, who defected from PKR to Parti Bangsa Malaysia.

Altimet also stated that he does not want people to doubt his strong desire to go from rapper to representative of the people.

He said being the son of a member of PKR's veterans group, Otai Reformis, allowed him to have a deep understanding of politics.

The Ampang PKR division chief also said he has been actively serving the people for close to a year.