JOHOR BARU, Sept 19 — DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang is believed to be preparing to contest as a parliamentary candidate for the upcoming 15th general election (GE15), Umno’s Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad claimed today,

The Johor Umno chief claimed he had received information that the 81-year-old DAP veteran politician will most probably contest in a north Johor seat as a candidate, despite announcing his retirement from politics in March.

“I was informed that Kit Siang will not defend his current Iskandar Puteri parliament seat and may possibly contest in Bakri.

“The decision for him to re-contest despite saying he was will retire was apparently made during a recent DAP meeting,” said Hasni in his speech during the launching of the Johor Umno veteran’s election machinery for GE15 at Kompleks Seri Pekembar in Pagoh.

The recording of the speech was made available to Malay Mail.

Hasni, who is also an Umno Supreme Council member, also suggested that the situation will give Barisan Nasional (BN) a slight advantage in Bakri.

“We hope that this would make it easier for us to win back the seat from them,” he said.

The Bakri parliamentary seat is currently held by DAP’s former federal minister Yeo Bee Yin who secured the seat with a 23,211 majority against BN’s Koh Chon Chai and PAS Md Zahrul Salleh in the previous 2018 national polls.

Since 2008, the constituency located adjacent to Muar, has seen DAP’s support grow after being helmed by its two-term MP Er Teck Hwa.

However, Er was dropped in favour of paving the way for Yeo to contest in the previous 14th general election (GE14).

The Bakri parliamentary seat was previously held by former federal minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng for more than 20 years.

In March this year, it was reported that Lim will retire after serving 56 years in active politics and is not expected to defend his Iskandar Puteri parliament seat for the upcoming polls.

The two-term Iskandar Puteri MP was also the parliamentarian for Bandar Melaka (1969-1974), Kota Melaka (1974-1978), Petaling (1978-1982), Kota Melaka (1982-1986), Tanjong (1986-1999), Ipoh Timor (2004-2013) and Gelang Patah before it was renamed to Iskandar Puteri (2013-2022).