A game of musical chairs for many MPs


JOHOR BARU: With nomination day around the corner, the game of musical chairs is now on, with several incumbent Umno MPs having to give up their seats or at least move elsewhere.

These include National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who is expected to give way to Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin in the Kota Tinggi parliamentary seat.

It is not clear if Halimah will be offered another seat or dropped outright.

Mohamed Khaled, who was mentri besar until 2018, lost the Pasir Gudang parliamentary seat and Permas state seat in the last general election.

Another hotspot is the Pontian parliamentary seat, which is held by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

Talk is rife that Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad, who was dropped as mentri besar despite being the poster boy in the state elections in March, is eyeing his old seat, which he won in 2014.

However, there is talk that a compromise could be struck to allow Ahmad to remain in Pontian while Hasni moves to the adjoining Simpang Renggam parliamentary seat.

Simpang Renggam was previously contested by Gerakan’s Liang Teck Meng, who lost to Bersatu’s Dr Mazlee Malik in 2018.

The reshuffling is also going on among the Opposition in Johor, with DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, the Iskandar Puteri MP, indicating that he wants to retire.

Labis MP Pang Hok Liong is also expected to be replaced, with former Skudai assemblyman Tan Hong Pin taking over.

In Penang, the PKR duo of Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik and Sim Tze Tzin are understood to be still waiting for the party’s leadership to shed light on their future.

“The last I heard, they were going to move me to another constituency. But there has been no word so far,” said Bakhtiar.

Sim, meanwhile, urged everyone to wait for the final decision next week.

“I’m not moving from Bayan Baru. Let the party announce it,” he said, referring to claims that he might be moved to another seat.

Bakhtiar was deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture, while Sim was deputy minister of agriculture and agro-based industry under the Pakatan Harapan rule.

Both are two-time MPs – in Balik Pulau and Bayan Baru respectively.

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incumbent , Umno , MPs , GE15

   

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