ALOR GAJAH, Nov 12 — Despite winning comfortably in the 14th General Election (GE14) representing Barisan Nasional (BN), the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat incumbent, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, is now contesting on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ticket, and is facing a challenging path to retain the seat in GE15.

Contesting for the third time in the parliamentary constituency, which is considered a BN stronghold, her victory in GE14 with a majority of 8,159 votes can no longer be used as a yardstick.

She will be up against Abdul Hakim Abdul Wahid (BN), Mutalib Uthman (Pakatan Harapan) and Handrawirawan Abu Bakar (Pejuang) in the four-cornered clash, and undoubtedly the image of the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) was slightly tarnished after being defeated in the Melaka state election in November, last year.

Meanwhile, Abdul Hakim views all candidates, including Mas Ermieyati, as having the same chances, and believes that the perspective of the people in the constituency has also changed.


He said this was because there was an increase of 33.36 per cent of voters to 69,174 voters in this election, compared with 51,441 in GE14.

“I also don’t see her defeat in the state election as an advantage to other candidates, including myself, because each of us has our own strengths,” he said.

Handrawirawan, on the other hand, believes that Mas Ermieyati’s defeat in the November state election will still serve as a yardstick for the people to make a decision in GE15, even though he narrowly lost then by only 364 votes.


He said that by rights Mas Ermieyat’s record as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 10 years should be strong enough. However, her decision to change party flag will definitely have an impact in GE15.

“Indeed, the task of retaining victory is very difficult even if we face new candidates here (Masjid Tanah). If judged based on individuality, we are also at the same level, and maybe even more considering that I, for example, am heavily involved in non-governmental organisations (NGOs),” he said.

In the meantime, Mas Ermieyati, who was once named as candidate for the Chief Minister post in the Melaka state election, admitted that Masjid Tanah is a BN stronghold, and understood that it would not be easy for her to retain her seat.

However, when given a mandate again, what can be offered to the Masjid Tanah constituents is her track record for two terms, where voters can assess the extent of her achievements in looking after the Masjid Tanah constituency.

“Experienced, young or new, some even look at gender, but it would be better if we (candidates) are viewed based on the results of the work done, and I am sure all the voters in Masjid Tanah are very mature in making assessments,” said Mas Ermieyati, who has served as Masjid Tanah MP since 2013. — Bernama