Pelangai by-election: Disabled man assisted by father, brothers to cast vote

07 Oct 2023 06:10pm
Zaffarul (right) with his father, Harmeni (left) attended the Voting Center of SMK Seri Pelangai today - Awani
Zaffarul (right) with his father, Harmeni (left) attended the Voting Center of SMK Seri Pelangai today - Awani

BENTONG - Losing his vision 24 years ago hasn't dampened Zaffarul Nazri Harmeni's spirit to fulfil his duty as a voter, including in the Pelangai by-election.

Zaffarul Nazri Harmeni, a 49-year-old man who lost his eyesight due to a workplace accident in 1999, remains enthusiastic about fulfilling his duty as a voter, including in the recent Pelangai by-election.

Speaking to Astro Awani, the father of one said that in addition to his father, Harmeni Moner, 70, his entire family has always assisted him whenever election season arrives.

"God willing, not being able to see is not a problem because, as I mentioned earlier, my father takes me to vote. After that, I have to fill out Form 10 (Identity Confirmation Form).

"So, my father helps me mark the ballot, and the spirit to vote as a Malaysian citizen is a duty, even for the disabled (OKU).

"Usually, my father takes me, accompanied by my siblings, to the polling station, who guide me," he said when met at the polling station at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Seri Pelangai here today.

Zaffarul, who is currently unemployed, added that the voting process went smoothly and was completed within 10 minutes.

Despite his OKU status, he said that the facilities provided at the polling station did not make it difficult for him to choose a new representative.

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Meanwhile, Zaffarul said he lost his eyesight at the age of 24 due to an ammonia gas explosion at his workplace in a factory.

"It took a while (after the incident) because I underwent several treatments for several years, including going to Singapore for cornea replacement treatment using new technology available there.

"But after several surgeries, I accepted losing my eyesight," he said.

At the same time, Zaffarul hopes that the candidate who will be given the mandate can bring change to the area and fulfil all the promised manifestos.

The Pelangai by-election saw a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam, Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Kasim Samat, and Independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli.

It was held following the unexpected vacancy of the seat after the incumbent, Datuk Seri Johari Harun, died in a plane crash in Elmina, Shah Alam, on Aug 17. - Awani