Pakatan Rakyat will not make such blunder…
Bagan Pinang By-Election: Umno leader sounds the alarm
By Patrick Sennyahnews@nst.com.my
PORT DICKSON: A senior Umno division leader has called on the party to close ranks in the state and work as a team or risk losing the Bagan Pinang by-election.
The veteran party member (he declined to be named) said it was no secret that there was a split in the state Umno, which, unless rectified, could lead to defeat in the coming by-election.
He said his greatest fear was not the opposition but the possibility Umno members would work against each other.
“I fear that disunity among members could escalate and thus divide the votes further.
“There is an urgent need to close ranks and put all differences aside for now.
“Another important factor is the choice of candidate. He must not only be one liked by the people but must also be agreeable to all party members.”
He said Malay voters made up 64 per cent of the over 14,000 voters in Bagan Pinang and it was crucial for Umno to garner more than 90 per cent of this for a confirmed win.
“We cannot take chances on the postal votes and those from the other communities. We must work to ensure all Malay votes come to Umno and the only way to do this is to work together,” he said.
He said while Teluk Kemang Umno division chief and former menteri besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad would be the best choice as candidate, there were fears that his past involvement with money politics could work against the party.
He said the Barisan Nasional did not want to repeat its mistake in the Permatang Pasir by-election, where it is widely believed that the fielding of disbarred lawyer Rohaizat Othman contributed to the party’s defeat.
Isa was suspended for three years from June 24, 2005 for money politics in the 2004 party elections. He was originally suspended for six years or two terms but this was reduced after he appealed.
The Bagan Pinang seat fell vacant following the death of Umno’s Azman Mohd Noor, 55, on Sept 4.
The state seat is one of five under the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency, which is held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Nomination has been set for Oct 3 and polling for Oct 11.