Johor BN chairman: Tanjung Piai by-election a litmus test for Umno-PAS

According to Hasni, the Muafakat Nasional union will be tested [during the by-election period] and the voters will decide if it is indeed extreme or not. Source (pic): Yahoo! News Malaysia

Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said today that the state Opposition coalition is not ruling out the possibility of fielding a “heavyweight” candidate in the imminent Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.

He was responding to news that the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat has fallen vacant, following the death of its MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik on Saturday.

On being the first by-election following the Umno-PAS charter earlier this month, Hasni described the Tanjung Piai by-election as a “litmus test” for the two Malay-Muslim parties.

He said it will allow Umno and PAS to prove that the charter embraces the spirit of multiracialism and multiculturalism.


JOHOR BARU: Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said today that the state Opposition coalition is not ruling out the possibility of fielding a “heavyweight” candidate in the imminent Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.

He added that this known political personality could come from any of its component parties.




“At present, the suggestion is open as there are no hard or fast rules stating who can qualify as a candidate.

“We can discuss such matters at the leadership level until a decision is made based on the circumstances and needs of the current situation,” said Hasni during an interview with selected media at a hotel here.

He was responding to news that the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat has fallen vacant, following the death of its MP Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik on Saturday.

Dr Md Farid won the seat in the previous 14th general election with a slim 524-vote majority.

Hasni also dismissed speculation that there is an agreement to field only those from MCA as the seat has been contested by the Chinese-based party since 2004.

“At present, there is no fixed consensus among the BN leadership on this as there is also an understanding that any decision will come from the ‘top down’.

“Being in the Opposition, it is important to respect the chain of command,” added Hasni, who is also the Johor BN chief and state Umno liaison chief.

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The 60-year-old veteran politician said once the decision has been made, he assured that Johor BN will give its full support to the candidate during the by-election period.

Hasni said BN’s intended victory for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat was not dependent on a one-party vote and would require the contribution of various races in the area.

He was optimistic as BN has received unwavering support from various parties including party members, associations, community activists and young people on the latest development that a by-election would be called.

“The support we received from them was unconditional and not subject to any terms or demands,” said Hasni, who is also the Benut assemblyman and helms the neighbouring Pontian Umno division.

On being the first by-election following the Umno-PAS charter earlier this month, Hasni described the Tanjung Piai by-election as a “litmus test” for the two Malay-Muslim parties.

He said it will allow Umno and PAS to prove that the charter embraces the spirit of multiracialism and multiculturalism.

“The Muafakat Nasional union will be tested [during the by-election period] and the voters will decide if it is indeed extreme or not,” said Hasni.

Dr Md Farid, 43, who was also the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of unity and social harmony, died of a heart attack on Saturday.

The parliamentary constituency, a known MCA stronghold in the past, had been traditionally contested by DAP since 2004.

For the general election last year, however, DAP yielded the seat to Bersatu as part of seat negotiations within the pact.

Source:


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