Umno grassroots want party man for Tanjung Piai poll instead of MCA

Ben Tan
Tanjung Piai Umno division chief Datuk Jefridin Atan (standing, centre) gives a speech to welcome former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Burasak Abah in Pekan Nenas, Tanjung Piai today. — Picture by Ben Tan

PONTIAN, Oct 4 — Umno should contest the upcoming Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election instead of MCA, its division chief Datuk Jefridin Atan said today.

Despite expressing the grassroots keenness for a candidate from the party, Jefridin said the division will accept and support whomever the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership decides to field in the November 16 poll.

“The Tanjung Piai Umno members have insisted on fielding a candidate from our side, following a discussion with 88 of the division’s Umno branch chiefs last week.

“We feel that it is time for BN to give the Tanjung Piai seat to Umno after it has been under MCA for more than 30 years,” Jefridin told reporters after accompanying former party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was visiting the area as part of his “Bossku” campaign.

Najib had earlier visited Kedai Makanan dan Minumam Farhan in Jalan Kukup and also Burasak Abah in Pekan Nenas of the constituency here.

Jefridin said he does not see his MCA counterparts having problems in supporting the Tanjung Piai Umno division on the matter.

He said that the Tanjung Piai Umno’s intentions have also been communicated to the Johor Umno liaison committee.

Jefridin also disclosed that Johor BN chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad has been appointed as the Tanjung Piai by-election director, while he will be the by-election director, at the division level.

“At the division level, our machinery Is ready and all preparations have been made similar to how we are facing a general election.

“This time round also will see the 27 district voting centres (PDM) in Tanjung Piai being adopted by the various Umno divisions in Johor,” said Jefridin.

The Election Commission announced on Tuesday that the by-election will be held on November 16, with the Nomination Day set for November 2 and early voting on November 12.

The Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election was triggered by the death of its incumbent Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, 42, from a heart attack last month.

In the 14th general election in May last year, Dr Md Farid won the parliamentary seat with a 524-vote majority defeating MCA’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng and PAS’ Nordin Othman.

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