- Published on Saturday, 23 August 2014 20:21
MUAR: Barisan Nasional (BN) is confident of retaining the Pengkalan Kubor state seat in Kelantan although it will face a stiff challenge from PAS, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman, said although the seat was an Umno stronghold, BN should not take the by-election lightly but needed to work hard to retain the seat.
"We know the constituency is not an easy one but we've managed to get it represented by our candidate. We will take this opportunity (coming by-election) to explain Umno and BN's policies in our struggles," he told reporters after attending an Aidilfitri celebration hosted by Pagoh Umno division, near here, Saturday.
Muhyiddin also praised the late incumbent assemblyman Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar, saying that the latter was always realistic, had worked hard from the bottom and served the voters there well regardless of their economic, social and educational background.
He said this would give BN a good opportunity as voters in the area who were used to Noor Zahidi's good services would continue supporting BN.
The late Noor Zahidi, 57, who held the seat for three terms and was Tumpat Umno division head for four terms, died from liver cancer at 5.45am last Wednesday while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Guangzhou, China.
In the last general election last year, he won the seat for BN after defeating Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate Saharun Ibrahim and Independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary with a 1,736-vote majority.
He was laid to rest at the Kampung Surau Muslim cemetery in Pasir Pekan, Tumpat, yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, also indicated that BN would be fielding a young candidate for the Pengkalan Kubor by-election.
"We have identified a number of capable, young potential candidates. I hope the decision on the candidate can be made soon after the by-election date is announced by the Election Commission," he said. Asked whether the crisis in Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition pact, would give BN the edge in the by-election, he said voters were always aware of such issues.
"All will be taken into consideration by the voters such as the political crisis in Selangor....the conflicting opinions in the opposition allies are obvious, whether it's PAS, DAP or PKR," he said.
Muhyiddin said BN could use this example to caution voters on what could happen to the country and explain to them how BN had struggled hard in looking after the people's interests and in managing the nation's affairs.
About 20,000 people attended the Aidilfitri celebration this time.
Also present were Muhyiddin's wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.