TUMPAT – Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election Mat Razi Mat Ail says, he did not ask to be addressed as ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher).
However, he explained, the title was given by the community for his services in developing the Simpangan religious school here.
Mat Razi said although he was formerly Tumpat assistant education officer (school management) and formally attired at work, it did not prevent him from wearing a ‘jubah’ or robe at home.
“The manner in which the people address me is something usual, and not a problem to me.
“When I am at home, I wear the robe and I am not putting on an act. However, if I am going to be announced candidate tomorrow and I start donning the robe today, that would seem awkward,” he told reporters after meeting residents of Kampung Kajang and Kampung Telok Jering here today.
Mat Razi, 48, was answering to charges leveled by PAS candidate Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim, 56, who thought it was undeserving of the former civil servant to be referred to as ‘ustaz’.
News reports had stated that Wan Rosdi made disparaging remarks, questioning Mat Razi’s integrity as an ‘ustaz’.
Commenting on the community’s reaction after he was announced candidate, Mat Razi said he was accepted well, with some expressing gratitude over his nomination as BN candidate for the Pengkalan Kubor by-election.
“This is probably because I was always working with the late (BN) assemblyman Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar in helping the people, especially when it concernedÂ children’s education here,” he added.
Mat Razi reiterated that he would continue the legacy of Noor Zahidi in assisting the community.
“God willing, if I am elected, I will revive the projects which had been abandoned when Noor Zahidi fell sick,” he said.
The Pengkalan Kubor by-election is a three-cornered fight involving Mat Razi, Wan Rosdi and independent candidate Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, 47.
The by-election is being held following the death of three-term assemblyman Noor Zahidi on Aug 20.
At the 13th General Election, Noor Zahidi defeated PKR candidate Shaharun Ibrahim and independent candidate Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, with a majority of 1,736 votes. – BERNAMA