KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Ex-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air will clash with Pakatan Harapan parties and allies in all 42 seats the former said it will contest in the March 12 Johor state election.

According to the party’s candidate list released yesterday, Pejuang will overlap with DAP and Amanah in 17 and clash with PKR and PH-aligned Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) in the rest. 

All five parties are in the federal Opposition but Pejuang has said it will not cooperate with the other four in Johor.

Multi-cornered clashes with former Pakatan allies

Against Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s Muda, Pejuang will compete with the party in all seven seats the youth-centric party will contest: Tenang, Bukit Kepong, Parit Raja, Machap, Puteri Wangsa, Larkin and Bukit Permai.

Syed Saddiq was Dr Mahathir’s Youth chief when they were still in Bersatu, but the latter broke away to form Muda rather than join the former PM’s latest party.

Pejuang will also clash with DAP in Tangkak and Paloh, which is being defended by its incumbent Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali who is also the party’s state vice chief. 

As for Amanah, Pejuang will contest with the party in 15 seats, namely Kemelah, Bukit Pasir, Serom, Simpang Jeram, Maharani, Parit Yaani, Senggarang, Kahang, Endau, Panti, Sedili, Penawar, Permas, Kota Iskandar and Pulai Sebatang.

Last but not least, Pejuang will face off against PKR in a total of 19 seats.

In addition, Pejuang could run up against both PKR and Muda in a possible five-cornered fight in Larkin, alongside candidates from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Another possible five-cornered fight Pejuang could face is in Puteri Wangsa where Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) will mark its debut in elections after fielding incumbent Tebrau MP and party vice president Steven Choong as its candidate.

The third possible five-cornered fight Pejuang might face is the Maharani state seat under the Muar parliamentary constituency where it might tussle with Amanah, PBM, BN and PN.

A fourth five-cornered fight is also on the horizon for Pejuang where it could face PKR, PBM, BN and PN in the Tiram state seat under the Tebrau parliamentary constituency.

A possible fifth five-cornered fight could take place in Kota Iskandar where Pejuang could go up against Amanah, BN, PN and Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

Pejuang candidates to watch

Among those making their electoral debut for Pejuang is Nornekman Osman, son of former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian whose death on December 21 last year led to this state election.

He will stand in Kempas, a seat once held by his late father. 

The party’s state chapter chief and Sri Gading MP Datuk Sharuddin Md Salleh will be contesting in the Machap seat.

Taking many by surprise, prominent constitutional lawyer Nizam Bashir Abdul Kariem was also announced as a candidate. He will contest the Rengit seat in a possible four-cornered fight between PKR, BN and PN.

The grandson of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tariq Ismail Mustafa, is also among the candidates to look out for who will be contesting the Sedili seat in a possible four-cornered fight between Amanah, BN and PN.

Former Johor DAP strategist Mahdzir Ibrahim is also among the 42 candidates announced by the party as he will be contesting in the Semerah seat.

He was a known youth social activist and had once served DAP as the party’s Roketkini.com coordinator.

The Election Commission has set March 12 as polling day with early voting on March 8. Nomination day is set for February 26.