Perak Umno expects straight fight in upcoming Slim by-election

Mohd Zaidi reminded the BN machinery not to become complacent or overly confident, even though they received support from Muafakat Nasional and Perikatan Nasional. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
Mohd Zaidi reminded the BN machinery not to become complacent or overly confident, even though they received support from Muafakat Nasional and Perikatan Nasional. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

TANJUNG MALIM, Aug 6 ― Perak Umno has not ruled out the possibility of a straight fight between the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Bersatu Blackout candidates in the Slim state by-election.

BN Slim by-election operations director Mohd Zaidi Aziz said this was based on the current political situation as well as the decision by PKR, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and DAP not to field their candidates.

“A Bersatu Blackout convoy, participated by former Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was spotted in the constituency about two days ago. However, it is nothing out of the ordinary.

“I was informed that it (the convoy) did not receive a good response,” he told reporters after the Ziarah Kasih programme at Felda Residence in Trolak here.

Also present was Wanita Umno chief Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

Mohd Zaidi who is also the Tanjung Malim Umno acting division chief said Bersatu Blackout should realise that contesting in the by-election would be an uphill task for them as they did not have strong support in the constituency.

He also reminded the BN machinery not to become complacent or overly confident, even though they received support from Muafakat Nasional and Perikatan Nasional.

Mohd Zaidi said BN Slim by-election director Datuk Saarani Mohamad is expected to announce the party candidate for the by-election on Wednesday at the Felda Jaya here.

On July 24, former Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya was reported to have said that supporters of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who called themselves Bersatu Blackout would field a candidate in the Slim state by-election.

Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has advised Bersatu Blackout against contesting in the Slim state by-election.

“In my opinion, they have the right to field a candidate but it will not bring about any change, it will only show the people that we are not on the same page.

“If it will bring them good, then go ahead, if not, as a friend, I recommend not to field a candidate,” he told reporters after officiating the Rumah Ngaji at Slim River Hospital here today.

Ahmad Faizal, who is also the Perak Mentri Besar, reminded Bersatu members not to associate themselves with the Bersatu Blackout to avoid their membership from being revoked.

The Election Commission set the Slim state by-election to be held on Aug 29 with nomination day on Aug 15 and early voting on August 25.

The by-election was called following the death of its incumbent Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, 59, of a heart attack on July 15.

In the 14th general election, Mohd Khusairi of Barisan Nasional defended the Slim state seat for the fourth term with a majority of 2,183 votes, defeating Bersatu candidate who contested on PKR ticket, Mohd Amran Ibrahim and PAS candidate Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal.

Perak has 59 state seats and out of the total, PN has 32 seats, namely, Umno-led BN with 25 seats; Bersatu (five), PAS (three) while DAP  has 16, Amanah (five), PKR (three), Independent (one) as well as Gerakan (one). ― Bernama

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