Raja Mohamed Affendi has 'unfinished business' to settle in his hometown

20 Nov 2023 02:10pm
Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate General (R) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor (right) shakes hands with Pas candidate Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar during the nomination day - BERNAMA
Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate General (R) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor (right) shakes hands with Pas candidate Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar during the nomination day - BERNAMA
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KEMAMAN - Having enjoyed so many sweet memories growing up in Kemaman, Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor returns to his hometown with high hopes of settling "unfinished business”.

The former Chief of Defence Force, who completed his primary and secondary school education in Kemaman, views the Kemaman by-election as the perfect opportunity for him to repay the people in the constituency for their guidance in shaping him into the person that he is today.

"This is like a payback. My family, children, grandchildren and I are very grateful for what we have had all these while. So, looking back, I asked my self why can't I give back not just to the government but also to my place of origin, Kemaman.

"It would have been different if I had been offered (to contest in) Kuala Pilah or other places, but when asked about my willingness (to be a candidate for the Kemaman by-election), I took a few days to think it over, evaluate everything (and then I said) let's do it. I volunteered because I am from Kemaman, surely I will find ways to do the best for Kemaman, my district,” he told Bernama.

The by-election on Dec 2 will see a straight fight between Raja Mohamed Affandi against Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar of PAS.

Although he moved to the capital to further his career as a soldier in the early 1970s until he reached the pinnacle, Raja Mohamed Affandi said whenever he was on leave, he would always return to Kemaman to be with his family, who live in Kampung Besut and Kampung Mak Cili, here.

This, he said, had made it easy for the residents to recognise him as a Kemaman native, who has gone on to achieve success and serve the country, especially in protecting the safety and sovereignty of Malaysia.

"When I was a small boy, I would go play football after school and frequent the market. If my mother gave me money to buy fish, I would not need to pay because the fishmonger would give it to me for free. Recently, when I went back to the market, I was so touched that they still remember me.

"I usually have coffee at Hai Peng when I go back to Kemaman and, one day, an individual approached me and asked 'Do you still remember me?’, and immediately remembered that he was once my classmate. That was a touching moment because I realised they still remembered me although I did not have much time to stay in contact with them due to my work in the Army,” he said.

As such, Raja Mohamed Affandi, who has over 40 years of military experience, aims to be a model "soldier-statesman” in politics to serve the people of Kemaman and help develop his hometown.

Being one of the high-ranking individuals to join politics, he hopes to be able to be a catalyst for others with similar intentions to help the people.

"I hope this will be the catalyst for those in the hierarchy to get involved in becoming a statesman. For me, this (role of a) soldier-statesman is common in (the United States of) America... so let’s trigger it and see where it will take me on my political journey,” he said.

Although Raja Mohamed Affandi knows he will be up against the Menteri Besar of Terengganu, he does not consider himself the underdog, instead, he views himself as someone with an equal chance of winning the Kemaman by-election and creating a surprise.

"We are equals, we fight on equal ground, provided the by-election is held cleanly and there is nothing suspicious... looking at the by-election at a glance, it is the same situation as being at war because, to fight, we must be prepared, we study the scenario, the battle, who are we fighting against, how can the battlefield be turned into an advantage...

"Each will prepare his army to be ready to attack. In a battle, we make estimations and, Insya-Allah, my prediction is that I can pull off a surprise,” he said - BERNAMA

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