SHAH ALAM: Umno has named its supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam as Barisan Nasional’s candidate for the Sungai Kandis by-election.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the decision to pit Lokman was made after much deliberation.
“We are placing our faith in someone who is young and this will be a gauge of public perception about Barisan after GE14,” Mohamad told a press conference following the announcement at the party’s Kota Raja division office in Kota Kemuning here.
Lokman, who is also president of the pro-Umno NGO Pemantau Malaysia Baru, has been a staunch defender of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his family.
The former prime minister has been charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary.
Mohamad said the party hoped Lokman’s candidacy would “open the eyes” of Sungai Kandis voters.
“We will highlight various issues, including the implementation of Pakatan Harapan’s promises,” he said.
Lokman, 45, said he was convinced he would do well in the by-election.
“Even though my mission may be seen as ‘Mission Impossible’, I am confident that the people have realised they were fooled by Pakatan Harapan in the last election,” he said.
Lokman, who was the Finance Ministry’s strategic communications director before the Barisan government lost power on May 9, added that the people wanted to convey their disappointment.
“It is not impossible for us to win,” said Lokman, adding that his voice was needed in the Selangor state legislative assembly to ensure proper check and balance.
“Currently, there are only five Opposition assemblymen (four Barisan and one PAS). This is not enough.
“My voice must be there and I will ensure that they (the state government) adhere to good and fair governance, as well as sound financial management,” he said.
Lokman joined Umno in his home state of Johor as a teenager, but left the party and became a pioneer member of Parti Keadilan Nasional when the Reformasi movement took root after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from the Government in 1998.
He rose to become the party’s national Youth secretary, but was sacked from the position by then party Youth chief (now Datuk) Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor in 2004 for allegedly wanting to rejoin Umno and enticing others to follow suit.
Following the 2008 election, which saw Pakatan Rakyat seizing several states from Barisan, Lokman returned to active politics and became an Umno Youth exco member the following year.
Meanwhile, there will be a straight fight for the Sungai Kandis seat, with PAS stepping aside as a mark of support for Barisan.
Lokman will face-off against a relatively unknown PKR candidate, Zawawi Ahmad Mughni, a 48-year-old training consultant and tahfiz head.
Zawawi, who joined PKR in 2012, is a well-respected Islamic educationist in the constituency and also hails from the area.
The Sungai Kandis seat fell vacant after the death of incumbent assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafie, 50, on July 2 from lymphoma.
Mat Shuhaimi, the former political secretary of former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, won the Sungai Kandis seat with a 12,480-vote majority in GE14.
Nomination for the by-election is today and polling day is on Aug 4.