KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional will field a candidate who is younger than Pakatan Harapan's pick for the Tanjung Piai by-election, says Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Umno vice-president, aged 59, criticised Pakatan's choice of fielding a 66-year-old, saying that the New Malaysia was about giving more opportunities for youths to lead.
"The candidate announced by Pakatan is aged, yet we're talking about a New Malaysia that should give a platform for the youth to progress further.
"But Pakatan went against our assumption.
"We thought that they would field a young candidate. There were talks that it would be a pilot, but suddenly they picked a pensioner as a candidate.
"What can he do? If I ask, then maybe he will retort that even a 94-year-old can be a Prime Minister.
"But I'm confident that Barisan's candidate will be younger than Pakatan's candidate," said Ismail to reporters in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 29).
On Monday (Oct 28), Pakatan announced architect and Tanjung Piai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia division chief Karmaine Sardini, 66, as its candidate.
Ismail also dismissed talks that Barisan had yet to announce its candidate because Umno and MCA failed to agree on the matter.
"No such thing. We will announce when it's time to announce.
"Yesterday was the launch of the Barisan machinery in Tanjung Piai, and we didn't want to do two events at the same time, so we launched it first then we will announce the candidate.
"We already have a decision," he said, adding that the announcement would be made soon.
Ismail expressed his confidence that Barisan's candidate could wrestle the seat from Pakatan in the by-election, citing the people's general unhappiness with the government.
"As we know, people are fed up with Pakatan because of its unfulfilled promises," he said.
The Election Commission has fixed Nov 16 as polling day for the Tanjung Piai by-election, which was called following the death of incumbent MP, Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, on Sept 21.
Dr Farid, who was also Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, died of heart complications.
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