JOHOR BARU: Former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian has denied that he is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia candidate for the Tanjung Piai by-election.
The Kempas assemblyman refuted such claims after pictures of him with congratulatory words went viral on social media.
Osman, from Kampung Kayu Ara Pasong in Pontian, said he did not know anything about the claims.
“People have been calling me on my phone since the morning and congratulating me for my ‘candidacy’, ” he said here yesterday.
He claimed that he did not receive any notification from Bersatu about him becoming their candidate.
“It is normal for my name to be part of gossip and I believe some are playing this issue up after Bersatu head 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 with me, ” he added.
Osman said it was up to Bersatu’s party leadership to decide on the candidate, adding that he would give his full support to make sure the parliamentary seat belongs to Pakatan Harapan.
Pakatan reportedly shortlisted several candidates for the polls.
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.
In Kuala Lumpur, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub defended his decision to announce an allocation to upgrade three fishing jetties in Tanjung Piai.
“As a minister, I can make such announcements that I think will make the rakyat happy, ” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
He was asked to explain his decision to announce the project close to the Tanjung Piai by-election.
“What if the fishermen fall down from the dilapidated jetties?
“The allocation approved it so I announced it. Why should I wait?”
Salahuddin said he was merely implementing what was pledged by Dr Md Farid as an MP and a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.