Monday, May 16

PH wants bigger majority in Semenyih by-election


SEMENYIH: Pakatan Harapan (PH) deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged the coalition not to take the Semenyih state by-election lightly and to work hard to ensure its candidate wins by a bigger majority.

Muhyiddin, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president, said they could expect a stiff challenge in the March 2 by-election due to the cooperation between Umno and PAS.

“From our calculations, the incumbent (the late Bakhtiar Mohd Nor) won by more than 8,000 votes. However, when we did a combined simulation of the total votes garnered by Umno and PAS, our majority dropped to about 1,900 only.

“That’s simulation. Nevertheless, whatever cooperation they have is not important. What is important is for us to work hard here,” he told reporters after announcing Muhammad Aiman Zainali as PH’s candidate for the by-election here yesterday.

Muhyiddin also questioned the sincerity of the two parties’ cooperation – whether PAS was hitching a ride on Umno or vice-versa.

“I have been in politics a long time, know history. Sometimes this (cooperation) is only for a while, but will PAS and Umno realistically merge as one party? Anyway, that’s their problem,” he said.

Muhyiddin urged the people, especially the voters in Semenyih, to judge PAS’ willingness to cooperate with Umno, which is faced with many problems.

“PAS should know that Umno has committed many transgressions. I was thrown out, sacked from the previous government because I dared to speak up against their transgressions and mistakes.

“I am confused because PAS says it’s struggles are in the name of Islam, it knows transgressions have been committed, that negligence occurred in Tabung Haji, Felda and IMDB, yet it still wants to be cosy (with Umno). This isn’t Islamic at all,” he added.

He said the cooperation between PH’s component parties was different in that they wanted to get Malaysia back on track towards excellence.

Muhyiddin also said that some of the new Members of Parliament who just joined Bersatu were expected to join the campaigning for the by-election and it would be a platform to test their loyalty and sincerity in helping the party.

The by-election has been necessitated by the death of Bakhtiar, of Bersatu, of a heart attack on Jan 11.

In the 14th General Election last year, he obtained 23,428 votes to defeat Datuk Johan Abd Aziz (Barisan Nasional), Mad Shahmidur Mat Kosim (PAS) and S. Arutchelvan (Parti Sosialis Malaysia) with an 8,964 majority. — Bernama