PETALING JAYA: The knives are out in Kuala Kangsar Umno as the deadline approaches for final selection of the party’s candidates for the general election.
According to a party insider, there are rumblings among grassroots members who believe the constituency should have a new person representing them in Parliament.
The MP for Kuala Kangsar from 1986 to 2013 was Rafidah Aziz, leader of Wanita Umno and cabinet minister, who is now a government critic.
Umno’s Wan Mohd Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad was elected in 2013. He died in a helicopter crash in Sarawak while helping in the state elections, and his widow, Mastura Mohd Yazid, succeeded him, winning a by-election with an increased majority.
The party insider, speaking to FMT, claimed that residents were unhappy with Mastura. He accused her of being unable to command the respect of local party warlords nor serve the community in the same way as her late husband.
Another factor was that members preferred a local candidate. Mastura is from Negeri Sembilan.
The party insider said Mastura’s by-election victory came from sympathy votes from Umno members who admired Wan Khair-il, but the current discontent might result in a boycott of Mastura, should she be selected. A split in Malay votes would hand victory to an opposition candidate, he said.
The constituency has about 36,000 voters, with Malays comprising an estimated 71%, Chinese 22% and Indians 7%.
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