JOHOR BARU: With just hours to go for the Election Commission (EC) to announce the date for the Tanjung Piai by-election, there is no clear indication as to who will be the candidate from Barisan Nasional.
Johor Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohamad is upbeat about the chances of Barisan wresting the seat from Pakatan Harapan, but stressed that the Opposition does not only want to win.
“We are looking at winning big in this by-election, ” he told reporters after chairing the state Umno liaison committee meeting here yesterday.
Hasni was coy as to whether the seat, which was traditionally contested by MCA, would be contested by Umno.
He only said that Barisan’s candidate would be a local.
“There is still time for us to decide on that. We need to strengthen our election machinery to face this by-election as a team, ” he said.
Asked about Tanjung Piai Umno division which he had openly said the seat should be contested by Umno, he added that the party had taken note of the division’s request.
Hasni said Barisan was confident of winning the seat as Pakatan had failed to fulfil its GE14 promises.
He reminded Pakatan that there were public projects launched during Barisan rule that were still ongoing.
They include the RM500mil bridge across Sungai Pulai and a RM90mil infrastructure project in Serkat.
On another issue, Hasni said
Johor Umno was proposing Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as the next Barisan secretary-general.
However, he said it was up to Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to decide on the matter.
The Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat became vacant following the death on Sept 21 of its incumbent
Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, who was also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Md Farid, 42, who was also Tanjung Piai Bersatu division vice-chief, won the seat in the last general election after beating Wee Jeck Seng and Nordin Othman with a majority of 524 votes.
The EC is expected to announce the date of the Tanjung Piai by-election today.
In Kuala Lumpur, PAS and Umno veterans have vowed to give their full support to any candidate picked for Tanjung Piai.
PAS As-Sabiqun (party veterans club) chairman Subky Latif said its members would help campaign for the candidate picked by the top leadership, even if it is from MCA.
“Insyallah, whatever that is decided by our leadership, we will follow, ” he said after its first meeting with Umno Veterans Club yesterday.
Umno Veterans Club chairman Datuk Othman Desa said both As-Sabiqun and the Umno Veterans Club would help campaign for the candidate.
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