JOHOR BARU: Former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian (pic) has denied he is the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) candidate for the Tanjung Piai by-election to be held early next month.
The Kempas assemblyman refuted claims he is Bersatu's candidate after pictures of him with congratulatory words went viral on social media.
Osman, who hails from Kampung Kayu Ara Pasong in Pontian, said the matter was being sensationalised by certain quarters trying to up the by-election fever in the constituency.
“I do not know anything about it and I am shocked as people have been calling my phone since this morning, congratulating me on my 'candidacy', ” he said here on Monday (Oct 21).
He stressed that he had not received any invitation from Bersatu about the supposed candidacy.
“It is normal for my name to be part of people’s gossip and I believed certain quarters are playing up this issue after Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin made a statement about the party’s choice of candidate.
“The candidate must be someone who has vast experience in politics and if we look around, they are trying to connect it to me, ” he added.
Osman, however, said the choice was up to Bersatu's leadership and he would give his full support to make sure the parliamentary seat belongs to Pakatan Harapan.
It was reported that Pakatan has already shortlisted several candidates for the Tanjung Piai by-election.
Muhyiddin said the selection was based on several criteria including age, leadership qualities, experience and background.
Pakatan is expected to reveal their candidate for the by-election on Oct 30 at Dataran Pontian.
The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant after the death of its MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik from complications following a heart attack.
In the 14th General Election, Dr Farid defeated Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng and PAS’ Nordin Othman with a majority of 524 votes.
The Election Commission has fixed nomination on Nov 2 and polling on Nov 16.