TERENGGANU UMNO chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said he will whole-heartedly accept the decision of the party should he not be selected as the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Kemaman by-election on Dec 2.
Instead, Ahmad said he will do all he can to help any BN candidates who will be selected to contest there to try wrest back the seat from PAS again.
“If there is a better candidate, I am ready to give way. I am happy if I am not selected as a candidate, and I will help whoever contests in the Kemaman by-election,” Ahmad was reported as saying by Berita Harian today (Oct 20).
“The list of names will be submitted to the top leadership of UMNO to evaluate and determine the suitable candidates.
“We will leave it to UMNO president (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid) to determine who is eligible to be placed as a candidate later and we will see who the candidate is chosen by the President,” the former Kijal assemblyman said.
When asked if BN had a chance to win the by-election given the large majority obtained by PAS in last year 15th General Election (GE15), he said it was not impossible.
“PAS’s big victory in GE15 was due to elements of corruption when the people were ‘bribed’ with various state government aid distributed during the campaigning period.
“In Kemaman, the aid was distributed the night before the election. And on the night of the election, PAS supporters already knew they had won and marched along the road in all districts.
“For this election, voters need to make a wise choice and choose a candidate who is in line with the federal government and can represent the voice of the people for the development of Kemaman and the people of Terengganu in particular,” the former Terengganu opposition leader added.
On Sept 26 the Terengganu Election Court has nullified the victory of Che Alias Hamid, who had been declared the winner of the Kemaman parliamentary seat in GE15 after Judge Datuk Anselm Charles Fernandis said the petitioner, voter Wan Mohamad Hisham Wan Abdul Jalil, succeeded in proving that corruption had taken place with the aim of influencing voters in GE15.
On Oct 3, PAS decided not to file an appeal against the decision of the Election Court which annulled the victory of Che Alias.
In GE15 held on November 19 last year, Che Alias had won the Kemaman seat in a four-cornered fight with 65,714 votes, which gave him a 27,179 vote-majority over Ahmad. Ahmad was the candidate with the second-highest number of votes at 38,535.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Hasuni Sudin garnered 8,340 votes and Pejuang candidate Rosli Abd Ghani garnered only 506 votes.
On Tuesday (Oct 17), the Election Commission (EC) has set polling day for the Kemaman Parliamentary by-election in Terengganu on Dec 2.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh said the nomination day is Nov 18, while early voting is Nov 28. – Oct 20, 2023
Main pic credit: The Sun Daily