JOHOR BARU: Pagoh will be a hotly contested seat in GE14 as it will see Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin going head to head with his former protégé, Pagoh Umno acting chief Ismail Mohamed.
Ismail said he had no issues facing off against his former mentor.
“I do not have any personal problems with him.
“We just have political differences and that should not set us apart.
“If I see him, I will surely greet him,” he said after receiving his appointment letter at the state Umno headquarters here.
He said he wanted to have a clean fight and would not get involved in mud-slinging or personal attacks against other candidates.
“I have told my supporters not to use such tactics and I hope my opponent will not resort to it either,” he said, adding that recent accusations that his supporters were trying to cause problems for a Pakatan Harapan’s event in the area were baseless.
Ismail, who is also the assemblyman for Bukit Serampang (now renamed Bukit Kepong), thanked the party leadership for picking him as a candidate.
“People here know me as I am a local boy,” said Ismail, who is also a former state executive councillor (exco).
Another state exco contesting a parliamentary seat is Datuk Ayub Rahmat, who has been fielded in Sekijang.
Ayub, who is the incumbent Kemelah assemblyman, said he would work hard to ensure the parliamentary seat and two state seats remain with Barisan.
“There are not many major issues here as we have been looking into the people’s welfare all the while,” he added.
He is expected to face off against Segamat PKR chief Natrah Ismail.
In Johor, Umno will contest 16 parliamentary and 35 state seats while MCA will go for eight parliamentary and 15 state seats, MIC (one parliamentary and four state seats) and Gerakan (one parliamentary and two state seats).
There are 10 women candidates fielded by Barisan in the state.