Sungai Bakap by-election Pas worried candidate’s academic qualifications an issue for voters

Pas is worried that the academic qualifications of Perikatan Nasional candidate Abidin Ismail may be an issue for voters in the Sungai Bakap by-election in Penang.

(NST) – Pas spiritual leader Datuk Hashim Jasin said Abidin’s academic qualifications had become a hot topic, though this should not be a measure of how well an elected representative would perform.

“For the most part now, I worry about the academic qualification issue raised against the Pas candidate as this has become a hot topic these days.

“For me, whether the academic qualifications (of a candidate) are high or not, does not guarantee that the journey of the elected assemblyman will be good,” he said when contacted.

Hashim said there were many elected representatives who lack academic qualifications but can do the job well.

On June 22, unity government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil had said academic qualifications were an important measure of a candidate’s ability to serve the people if elected.

The communications minister had said that downplaying the importance of academic qualifications in politics is akin to disregarding knowledge, emphasising that election candidates must exemplify a culture of learning.

This had come after PN election director Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor had said academic qualifications were not the sole measure of a political leader’s excellence, noting other factors such as personality also played a role.

Meanwhile, Hashim reminded Pas members and supporters in Sungai Bakap not to break the law during campaigning for the by-election.

He said they must continue to protect the party’s image and must not react to any possible provocation from their rivals.

“They must never get involved in arguments that will not bring any benefit to both the party and the candidate contesting in the by-election.”