Tok Mat says not taking Rantau by-election for granted

Barisan Nasional candidate for the Rantau by-election, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, speaks during a press conference at Barisan Nasional command centre in Rantau April 1, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Barisan Nasional candidate for the Rantau by-election, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, speaks during a press conference at Barisan Nasional command centre in Rantau April 1, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SEREMBAN, April 1 — Barisan Nasional candidate for the Rantau state by-election Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan says he will not be taking the contest lightly, even though he feels he is better known among the locals compared to his rivals.

The former mentri besar who has helmed the state for three terms said that as with any other candidate, he would also be campaigning to reach out to as many voters as possible.

“Politics is dynamic, not static. I cannot feel comfortable or take it easy. I will try my best to meet the voters,” he told a press conference on the third day of the campaign here today.

Mohamad, who is defending the state seat faces Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr S. Streram, and two independent candidates, R. Malarvizhi and Mohd Nor Yassin.

The Umno deputy president who is currently carrying out the tasks of the president, also claimed this was the ‘mother of all by-elections’, important to both PH and Barisan Nasional.

“It’s not about the Rantau seat itself. Even if I win, it will not change the Federal government. It (the significance of the contest) is because I’m contesting here,” he said.

He also hoped that all political parties in the country practised mature politics, and no longer used smear tactics to discredit their opponents.

“We need to bring benefit the people, because as long as we practise political slander, we will not go anywhere,” he said.

The Rantau by-election has been necessitated by the Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the Nov 16 Seremban Election Court decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void.

In GE14, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat for Barisan Nasional (BN) after Dr Streram, the potential Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate, was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the EC. — Bernama