Former Pengkalan Batu assemblyman Norhizam Hassan Baktee has no regrets about his decision to withdraw support for Melaka Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali, a move which sparked the dissolution of the state legislative assembly, paving the way for only the second election since the start of the pandemic last year.
In fact, he said, the people of Melaka should thank him and the three others – Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas) and Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundor) – who declared a loss of confidence in Sulaiman’s leadership.
Speaking in an interview with MalaysiaNow, he said he had withdrawn his support for the chief minister based on the principle of rejecting greed and ignorance, even though it would mean him losing his position in the state assembly.
“We saved the people of Melaka, we saved the property and assets of the Melaka government from being robbed,” he said.
“The people should be grateful to the four of us. We lost everything because of our principles.”
The four who had united in their decision have now moved in different directions.
Idris and Azman joined Pakatan Harapan (PH) while Norhizam struck out on his own. Nothing has been heard of Noor Effandi, who was not nominated by the coalition led by PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim.
Norhizam, who is also a former Melaka government exco, will defend his Pengkalan Batu seat in a five-way fight come Nov 20.
He faces Muhammad Danish Zainuddin (PH), Mohd Azrudin Md Idris (Perikatan Nasional), Mohd Aluwi Sari (Putra) and Kalsom Nordin (Barisan Nasional).
The former deputy DAP chairman in Melaka won the seat in 2018 on a PH ticket. He quit the party last year, announcing his support for the BN-PN government in the state.
Now working alone as an independent candidate, he said he is confident about his campaign despite his lack of support from other parties.
“Actually, when we cannot officially campaign and we can’t go down to the ground or from door to door, I’m the one who benefits as I have a KPI,” he said.
“When I go down to the ground, we have pictures that function as proof of our record and our KPI which says we did our work.
“Twenty-two thousand voters in Pengkalan Batu know who Norhizam is,” he added.
Checks of his social media platforms show that Norhizam, popularly known as “the viral YB”, began his campaign well in advance, with videos and pictures of him handing out aid to the people.
Most recently, he shared a campaign poster based on the popular Netflix TV series, Squid Game.
Norhizam is no stranger to the world of politics.
He is known for his involvement in controversial issues, including a video clip of him raising his voice at a group of residents three years ago and his comments on the pig situation in Melaka.
But he said the majority of his critics are outsiders, and that voters in the constituency know better.
He is also confident that people will remember his service to them while his opponents, in his words, are just only beginning to sow their promises.
“Whatever the perception or views of the people out there, let them say what they want to. What is important is focusing on the voters in Pengkalan Batu,” he said.
Norhizam is banking on his image as a “hustler” able to solve the troubles of the people without any fuss.
A big question ahead of election day is which bloc he will support if he succeeds in defending his seat.
“If there is a need for me to be the kingmaker, we will look at the needs of the people,” he said.
“I don’t want to be egotistical, but my support comes with conditions. I don’t want a government that behaved like the previous one, where even things that were forbidden were allowed.”