Before the 2018 general election, little was known about Fahmi Fadzil, Lembah Pantai’s first-term Member of Parliament.
Fahmi won the seat that year in a three-way contest, defeating Barisan Nasional’s Raja Nong Chik and Pas’ Fauzi Abu Bakar.
Earlier, in 2010, Fahmi served as constituency assistant to the then Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah Anwar. A giant-killer, Nurul Izzah had defeated political heavyweight and three-term incumbent MP Shahrizat Jalil two years earlier. Nurul defended her seat in 2013 when she trounced the BN’s Raja Nong Chik.
Prior to that, Fahmi had assisted his PKR colleagues Sivarasa Rasiah, who unsuccessfully contested the Petaling Jaya Selatan seat in 2004, and Zainur Zakaria, who lost to Shahrizat Jalil in Lembah Pantai in 2009.
PKR soon recognised Fahmi’s conscientiousness: he slowly rose up the ranks to take on more duties as the party’s communications director and youth vice-chief. He also assisted in the Setiawangsa PKR service centre, in the party’s bid to win this parliamentary seat in the Federal Territory.
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Fahmi has come a long way in politics from the days when he was hanging posters and working as a writer, theatre performer and activist. His involvement in politics began in 1998, sparked by the reverberations of Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking, which catalysed the Reformasi movement that year.
Now, after over four years as MP, Fahmi has carved a niche for himself and is easily recognisable among his constituents. His immense popularity, which cuts across a broad spectrum of voters in every nook and corner of Lembah Pantai, is due purely to his painstaking service to his constituents.
From attending wakes, meeting constituents, distributing aid and overseeing road repairs, Fahmi is conscientiously there, serving the people. No work is too small or big for the 41-year-old chemical engineering graduate from Purdue University in the US; it is all about discharging his duties as an MP.
Not only has his commitment as an MP endeared him to his constituents, his appealing charisma is a bonus.
Even though I have known Fahmi since his election in May 2018, I have always ‘interrogated’ him each time we met. About three months ago, when he met some of his constituents in Bangsar, I asked him a range of questions for which he had satisfactory answers.
Even when Pakatan Harapan was in government, I expressed reservations to him about certain aspects of its administration.
But Fahmi knew that such views from a constituent would provide useful feedback to the PH government. Again, he provided sharp and satisfactory responses to all my concerns.
What do Fahmi’s constituents think of their MP’s performance? Many have given their MP a thumbs-up for his performance.
Remarks an elderly gentleman in Bangsar, “Fahmi has served us well and we must send him back to Parliament in GE15.”
A female senior citizen in Lucky Gardens had this to say: “Dia orang baik, mesti undi dia lagi sekali” (He is a good person, we must vote him back again).
The makcik (‘aunty’) who sells an assortment of cakes on the outskirts of Bangsar also felt sentimental about him. “Fahmi adalah seorang wakil rakyat yang ikhlas dan jujur” (Fahmi is an elected representative who is sincere and trustworthy).
A Twitter user who goes by the handle @MakanTaugeyther posted a comment, “I think he has definitely done more beyond his electoral boundaries.”
As a parliamentarian, Fahmi has been vocal on important issues like the ‘anti-hopping’ bill in 2022. He warned MPs that those intending to stall the bill risk being rejected by their voters in the upcoming general election if the House of Representatives failed to pass the bill.
Recently, he was interviewed on Astro Awani, expressing his concern about the scammers conning the people.
Fahmi notes that about 83% of the items agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the federal government and PH had been achieved.
Among the reforms achieved:
- the passing of the anti-hopping law in Parliament
- the lowering of the minimum voting age from 21 to 18, and automatic voter registration
- the restoration of Sabah’s and Sarawak’s positions as signatories of the Malaysia Agreement, and
- equal allocation of funds for government and opposition MPs
Such reforms have taken our democratic and federal system a step forward.
Fahmi has informed me he endorses all five points for voters and candidates to uphold, as outlined in civil society’s People’s Agenda, which is supported by 58 NGOs:
- Uphold the dignity and quality of life of the people
- Promote equitable, sustainable development and address the climate crisis
- Celebrate diversity and inclusivity
- Save democracy and uphold the rule of law
- Fight corruption and cronyism
Does Fahmi have any regret, being an MP and having to juggle his time between his official duties, his family life and his desire to pursue other endeavours?
His answer is simple and unequivocal. No.
Despite the sacrifices, it has been a labour of love for Fahmi, who has served the people of Lembah Pantai diligently these past four years. It is a hectic seven-day-a-week schedule for Fahmi, who often sacrifices quality time with his family.
So, why should Lembah Pantai voters like me vote for Fahmi this time around? The reasons are aplenty: but above all, his track record speaks volumes for his diligence and hard-work in Parliament and for his constituents.
Good luck, Fahmi. You deserve to be re-elected. You are definitely worth your salt!
Benedict, a voter in Lembah Pantai, cast his ballot for Fahmi in the 2018 general election and will once again be voting for him