IPOH, Nov 18 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu welcomed the DAP proposal that the by-election for the Gerik Parliamentary constituency be uncontested, following the death of incumbent Datuk Hasbullah Osman, on Monday.
The proposal was put forward by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng yesterday in recognition of the services of the late Member of Parliament apart from the state of the country which is going through the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ahmad Faizal, who is also Perak Mentri Besar, said with the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country, it would be better if all activities including campaigning was stopped to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“We are trying to avoid a by-election, campaigning efforts and so on which can lead to the spread of Covid-19. We find a spike in positive cases and attention should be given to stop the spread of the disease,” he said.
He said this at a press conference after witnessing an exchange of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Perak Children’s Aspiration Centre (Pasak) and Sekretariat Usahawan Perak (STeP) with telco company redONE Network Sdn Bhd at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan here today.
The MoU with Telco Business Partner or Telcoprenuer Perak is another initiative undertaken by the state government to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, expecting 1,000 entrepreneurs and individuals to benefit from the programme.
Meanwhile, when asked whether Bersatu would field a candidate in the Gerik by-election, Ahmad Faizal said his party would discuss with Umno and PAS before making any decision.
In the 14th general election, Hasbullah from Umno secured a 5,528-vote majority to win the Gerik seat defeating PAS candidate Mohd Dahalan Ismail and Ibrahim Mohd Hanafiah from Bersatu.
Meanwhile, Perak Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamed when met at the same event, also expressed concern over the spread of Covid-19 if the Gerik by-election is held.
“If the Election Commission (EC) decides to hold a by-election, there is no problem, but my hope is what is wrong if we retain the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate unopposed.
“Of course, it will be supported by friends from PAS, Bersatu and BN as well as the opposition including PKR, DAP and Amanah. After all, with just one seat it will not change anything.
“I think it is more noble if the seat is not contested and all parties can be open-minded,” he said. — Bernama