PONTIAN, Oct 19 — Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the ruling coalition is expected to field experienced candidates to contest the coming Tanjung Piai by-election on November 16, instead of fielding young candidates.
He said despite the allowance given by the Election Commission (EC) for 18-year-old candidates to contest, PH was considering experienced candidates for the contest.
“As of today, there are no young candidates that have come forward and offered to contest [for PH].
“The criteria for the ruling coalition’s candidate will be made not only in terms of age, but also their credibility, experience, and also backgrounds,” said Muhyiddin, who is also the Home Minister, after meeting volunteers and officers from the Pontian People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) here.
Also present was Rela director-general Zulkifli Abidin.
On the PH candidates, Muhyiddin said that several candidates have been shortlisted and will be named by the end of the month or just before nomination day.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president and also PH election director said the candidates’ names have almost been finalised pending the official announcement dates.
Muhyiddin said he was satisfied with PH’s preparation for the by-election, and was confident that the people would support the coalition based on a study of voter sentiments.
“Based on this morning’s briefing session with the district polling centres, I am confident that we can defend this seat.
“The report I received included a review of voters’ sentiments in Tanjung Piai. I think the sentiments are somewhat positive [for PH] even though they are facing economic problems, cost of living issues,” said Muhyiddin, referring to voters.
The EC has set November 2 as the nomination day and November 16 as the polling day for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.
Tanjung Piai has a total of 52,986 voters, of which 280 are early voters.
The Tanjung Piai by-election is the ninth after the 14th general election held in May last year.
It is also the 14th by-election in Johor’s history since independence, the last being the Tenang state by-election in 2011.
The Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election was triggered after incumbent, Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, died of heart complications on September 21.
Dr Md Farid, who was from PH’s Bersatu, won the seat in the GE14 after he defeated MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng who represented BN by only 524 votes in a three-cornered contest. The third candidate is Nordin Othman from PAS who had secured 2,962 votes.
The Tanjung Piai constituency is a mixed seat with 57 per cent Malays, 42 per cent Chinese and 1 per cent Indian.
The seat has been traditionally been contested by MCA and DAP since 2004. In 2018, DAP gave the seat to Bersatu to contest under its PH campaign.