Former Jasa chief Puad Zarkashi not contesting

Mohd Puad Zarkashi had won the seat in the 12th general election in 2008 but failed to defend it in GE13. (Facebook pic)

BATU PAHAT: Former director-general of the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) Mohd Puad Zarkashi is not contesting the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.

When nominations closed at 10am today at the Batu Pahat district office here, there was no nomination papers submitted by him or his agent.

Puad had been speculated to contest as an independent candidate after his name was dropped from the list of BN candidates contesting in GE14.

Johor BN chairman Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced on April 23 that Batu Pahat Wanita Umno leader Haliza Abdullah, who is a lawyer by profession, would replace Puad as the candidate for Batu Pahat.

Puad had won the seat in the 12th general election in 2008 with a majority of 12,968 votes against Muhammad Abdullah of PAS, but failed to defend the seat in the last general election against PKR’s Mohd Idris Jusi, who obtained 38,563 votes and won the contest with a majority of 1,732 votes.

In the 14th general election, the contest for the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat will see a three-cornered fight among BN, PAS and PKR.

The PAS candidate is the party’s Dewan Ulama chief Mahfodz Mohamed, while former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Rashid Hasnon is the PKR candidate.

It is also a three-cornered fight for the state seats of Penggaram, Senggarang and Rengit.

The contest for Penggaram will involve Batu Pahat Municipal Council member Kang Beng Kuan (BN), Johor DAP secretary Gan Peck Cheng (PKR-DAP) and Misran Samian (PAS).

Batu Pahat Umno deputy leader Zaidi Japar (BN), Johor Amanah secretary Khairuddin Abd Rahim (PKR-Amanah) and Dr Mohd Ramli Md Kari (PAS) are vying for Senggarang.

In Rengit, incumbent assemblyman Ayub Jamil (BN) will face Malik Faisal Ahmad (PKR) and Mohd Tumiran Ahmad (PAS).