JOHOR BARU: Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin will lead the charge for Barisan Nasional in GE14 by taking on a state and parliamentary seat.
He has been slated to contest his Permas state and the Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituencies.
Mohamed Khaled is the only Barisan candidate who will be contesting two seats in Johor. The state has 26 parliamentary and 56 state seats.
Umno will be battling it out in 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).
Mohamed Khaled, who presented the appointment letters (surat watikah) to the candidates yesterday, urged them to work hard to ensure victory.
Johor Barisan, he said, was fielding at least 37 new candidates (or 45% of the state and parliamentary seats).
From the 20 seats won by Barisan in GE13, he said at least 15 of the incumbents had been maintained while two others from Pasir Gudang (Datuk Normala Abdul Samad) and Kota Tinggi (Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid) had been dropped.
Out of the present exco members, at least four have been dropped.
The exco members switched include Datuk Ayob Rahmat to the Sekijang parliamentary and Ismail Mohamed to the Pagoh parliamentary seat. Also switched from state seat to parliament is Adham Baba, who will now contest in Tenggara.
The two exco members dropped are Asiah Ariff (Johor Lama) and Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim (Layang-Layang). Jasa director-general Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who previously contested the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat, has been dropped and replaced with lawyer Harliza Abdullah.
As for the state seats, Mohamed Khaled said that 19 incumbents had been retained while 13 assemblymen were not renominated. There will be 10 women candidates.
Johor Barisan secretary Datuk Md Jais Sarday said all Barisan candidates had been vetted in the past six months to ensure there would be no situation that could lead to any disqualification on technical grounds on nomination day.
Jais also urged those who had been dropped to cooperate and help the chosen candidates.
Asked why Mohamed Khaled was going for two seats, he said it was a decision from the top leadership.
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