PONTIAN, Oct 13 — The Tanjung Piai community want a local Umno candidate to contest in the coming by-election, said Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
He revealed that this was the ground sentiment that he received from his many visits to the various areas in Tanjung Piai.
“The importance of a candidate from Umno was relayed to me based on the meetings with the Tanjung Piai locals where I have personally attended more than eight community programmes in the constituency.
“However, I need to emphasise that the final say of who will be the candidate lies with the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership.
“I can only report the community’s preference to the party’s leadership for their perusal,” said Ahmad during a special interview at the Tanjung Piai Umno division office here today.
Ahmad, who is also the Pontian MP, has been giving his support and advice to the Tanjung Piai Umno division in his role as the party’s supreme council member.
He was accompanied by Tanjung Piai Umno division chief Datuk Jefridin Atan, its deputy chief Md Israk Abdullah and its vice chief Dr Mohd Isa Ismail.
Ahmad said the Tanjung Piai by-election was important for Umno and BN as it was held after the Muafakat Nasional and Penyatuan Ummah unification.
“It is also the first by-election to be held right after Budget 2020,” he said, adding that it was up to the community to accept, but he hoped for a positive outcome for BN.
Meanwhile, Ahmad also slammed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers whom he alleged were using government machinery for their pre-campaign events in Tanjung Piai.
He added that today itself there were two ministries holding separate programmes in the area, namely the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister (Datuk Salahuddin Ayub) and Housing and Local Government Minister (Zuraida Kamaruddin).
“We’ve seen many ministers coming here (Tanjung Piai). They say they don’t want to use government machinery, but I’m sure they will.
“If not I consider it a cerita dongeng lah,” said Ahmad, referring to the Malay word for fairy tale.
Ahmad said he has heard that the ruling PH ministers use government machinery to visit schools, to visit fishermen and so on.
He claimed the ministers and even state government executive council members have appeared using government machinery.
“Where is the promise (by PH) not to use government machinery?” he questioned.
The Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency was declared vacant after the death of its incumbent, Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, due to heart complications on September 21.
Dr Farid, who was a former deputy minister and also Tanjung Piai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) deputy chief, won the Tanjung Piai seat in the last general election on a PH ticket, beating MCA’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng representing BN and Nordin Othman from PAS.
The by-election’s nomination day has been set to November 2, with its early voting falling on November 12.