IT IS crucial for the Umno candidate vying to stand in the Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency in the 15th General Election (GE15), to get the support of the party division.
A source from the Lembah Pantai Umno division said this following a recent report that supreme council member Datuk Mohd Razlan Rafii has been tipped to be a candidate for the seat.
“He is on the list, but most importantly, he needs the support of the Lembah Pantai Umno division or he may face the same fate as Tan Sri Shahrizat,” the source said, referring to Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, a former Lembah Pantai MP.
Shahrizat was a member of Kepong Umno division before she was fielded in the Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency in 1995.
She held the position until 2008 when she was defeated by PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar.
The Umno source revealed that five names were on the list of possible Umno candidates for the seat.
Mohd Razlan is the Seputeh Umno vice-chairman and previously held the division Youth chief post.
When contacted, Mohd Razlan said the party leadership would decide on the candidate for Lembah Pantai.
Former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, 69, said the younger generation should be given the chance to contest in Lembah Pantai in GE15.
“If the party leadership wants younger people to contest in Lembah Pantai, I will support.
“We need candidates who are dedicated and hardworking and who can improve the image of the party, and not someone who is only good at taking care of the boss or the party hierarchy,” he said.
“With the right candidate, we can win,’’ he added.
Asked if he would contest again if the leadership deemed it necessary, Raja Nong Chik said: “If they want me to be a candidate again, then I will do it. But I still think we need to field a young candidate.
Raja Nong Chik contested in 2013 and 2018 elections but lost both times. Nurul Izzah Anwar won in 2013 and then it was incumbent MP Fahmi Fadzil, both from PKR.
A similar sentiment was echoed by Lembah Pantai Umno Youth chief Datuk Muhamad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin who urged that a local candidate be fielded for Lembah Pantai.
“Fielding ‘parachute’ candidates here could cause anger and sabotage among division members.
“Don’t think Lembah Pantai Umno lacks candidates because there are many who are qualified,” he was quoted by Sinar Harian.
He added that qualified candidates included Lembah Pantai Umno division chief and former national footballer Datuk Ramlan Askolani.
Another name that has been tossed into the ring is Lembah Pantai Umno deputy division chief Datuk Tengku Zuhri Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Fahmi, when contacted, said he was ready to serve the Lembah Pantai electorate again if fielded by his party.
In the 2018 elections, Fahmi won by a 5,598-vote majority after receiving 33,313 votes, while Raja Nong Chik garnered 27,715 votes.
PAS candidate Fauzi Abu Bakar lost his deposit after obtaining only 5,277 votes, while 538 votes were rejected.