KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Wangsa Maju Umno has denied claims of sabotage by party grassroots over rumours that Barisan Nasional (BN) will field an MCA candidate for the parliamentary seat.
Wangsa Maju Umno division chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shafei Abdullah admitted, however, that there is some form of discontent over the issue, as many members believe that the Malay nationalist has a more realistic chance of winning the seat.
“This is not an issue of boycotting, but they are just sending a message to the higher ups as they feel that Umno has better chances at winning.
“They are also showing their frustration because all this while, it is they who have mostly done the job for BN in the grounds,” he told Malay Mail when contacted, today.
Shafei said while 61 per cent or about 52,000 voters in the constituency are Malays, only roughly 13,000 of those are Umno members.
With PAS fielding a candidate in the seat as well, he said Umno would have a fairer chance in wooing the Malay voters as placing a Chinese candidate would sway the non-BN supporters to vote for PAS.
“We can foresee if the wrong candidate is placed in the area, in which we have a better fighting chance, we will end up losing the seat.
“Those at the grassroots are trying their level best to get the support for Umno and at the same time alerting the top leadership of the sentiments on the grounds,” he said.
When asked on the proposed candidacy for the seat, Shafei said he leaves it to the top leadership to decide as he continues on with his role.
“This has nothing to do with me... I did not order them to hold such protests but I have done my part in going to the grounds and will continue to do so,” he said.
On Friday, an NGO held a protest in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya, demanding that they will only accept Shafei as their candidate and no one else.
Complaints were also forwarded to party secretary-general and Federal Territory BN chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor on Facebook via the #saynotomca and #shafei4wangsamaju hashtags by Umno members.
Shafei was the BN Wangsa Maju candidate in the last general election. He garnered 26,130 votes against PKR’s Dr Tan Kee Kwong polled 31,641 votes, losing by a majority of 5,511 votes.