Muhyiddin to defend Pagoh, will face PAS ulama chief in Gambir

PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin is going for an eighth term as Pagoh MP.

PETALING JAYA: PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin has been confirmed as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for the Pagoh parliamentary and Gambir state seat.

He is defending the Pagoh seat which he won in the 2013 general election under a Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket with a 12,842-vote majority in a straight fight with PAS.

In Gambir, he is likely to meet PAS heavyweight Mahfodz Mohamed and a still unnamed BN candidate in a three-way contest.

Mahfodz, who is the PAS ulama chief and Johor commissioner, contested the Gambir seat in 2013, narrowly losing to BN’s M Asojan by 310 votes in a four-way contest with two independent candidates.

At a ceramah in Pagoh last night, PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced Muhyiddin’s candidacy along with other PPBM parliamentary and state candidates for Johor.

Other candidates include academic Maszlee Malik, PPBM secretary-general Shahruddin Md Salleh and PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for the Simpang Renggam, Sri Gading and Muar parliamentary seats, respectively.

Johor PPBM secretary Osman Sapian was named as PH’s candidate for the Kemas state seat.

All in all, PPBM will contest 10 parliamentary seats in Johor: Pengerang, Mersing, Kota Tinggi, Pontian, Pagoh, Simpang Renggam, Sri Gading, Muar, Tenggara and Tanjung Piai.

The party will also contest the state seats of Machap, Sri Medan, Bukit Pasir, Benut, Kempas, Kahang, Semarang, Bukit Kepong, Tanjung Puteri, Gambir, Parit Raja, Buloh Kasap, Permas, Bukit Permai, Puteri Wangsa, Tenang, Panti and Endau.

Before announcing the candidates, Mahathir said only “clean” candidates would be fielded, and not those facing bankruptcy or any other issues.

Earlier, Muhyiddin who has served as Pagoh MP for seven terms, urged the people of Johor to ditch Umno and BN, claiming the party no longer stood for the Malays and Islam.

Speaking at a ceramah in Pagoh, Muhyiddin said although the state was the birthplace of Umno and was seen as Umno’s stronghold, the “winds of change were blowing”.

“Umno’s era has come to an end. It is not haram to leave Umno. Leave Umno, leave Barisan Nasional. This is a ‘hijrah’ (flight) of the people,” said Muhyiddin, a former Umno deputy president.

Muhyiddin, who leads PH in Johor, began his political career as a federal lawmaker in Pagoh, where he served from 1978 to 1986.

He then moved to the state seat of Bukit Serampang, which he held during his tenure as menteri besar from 1986 to 1995, before returning to Pagoh.

Johor is expected to be a major battleground for BN and PH, and leaders from both coalitions have paid frequent visits to the state to woo voters.

In the 2013 general election, BN won 21 of the 26 parliamentary seats, and 38 of the 56 state seats.

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