TAIPING: PKR’s Bukit Chandan candidate Mohamad Imran Hamid is optimistic of his chances in the state seat despite reports that unhappiness over candidate choice has affected the party machinery there.
Speaking to FMT, Imran dismissed the claims.
“There is no problem. We are not paralysed, and we are working hard,” the Lumut incumbent said.
Imran, a former naval officer, had been sent by PKR to contest the Bukit Chandan seat, located in the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituency.
PKR’s Kuala Kangsar division chief Mohd Khair Mohd Zainal had earlier said that the party’s machinery was affected after Perak PKR women’s chief Fatmawati Salim was not selected to contest in the seat.
He said this had resulted in local PKR members refusing to help campaign for the party’s new candidate, which forced the party division’s office in Bukit Chandan to close down.
Fatmawati, who was appointed the party’s Bukit Chandan coordinator, had contested and lost the seat against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Maslin Sham Razman by just over 900 votes.
Imran said he understood that Fatmawati was now assisting another PKR division, but did not think there would be any protest votes against him from party members.
“I think we stand a good chance to win Bukit Chandan this time around as it is a more mixed seat than Lumut.
“If we get most of the non-Malay votes, then we will need another 30% of Malay votes to win,” he said, adding that this was due to the three-way contest for the seat.
According to figures from the 2013 general election, there are close to 16,000 voters in Bukit Chandan, with Malays accounting for 67%, Chinese 24%, Indians 7% and others 2%.
In the May 9 polls, Maslin will defend the seat against Imran and PAS’ Intan Norhani Mohamad Basir.
“I hope all party members will back us, and see Fatmawati’s efforts as the party’s efforts and not just an individual’s,” Imran said.
He also expressed confidence that he would appeal to Bukit Chandan voters as many knew of his efforts in Lumut and in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Also, there are many veterans and civil servants here, and we know that many of them like former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. So the PPBM factor will benefit us.”
Imran dismissed the discontent of five Perak PKR division chiefs who were against PPBM being given so many seats as well as the use of the PKR logo as the common symbol.
He said their protests did not necessarily reflect grassroots sentiments, and were perhaps only the frustrations of individuals.
If elected, Imran said he would make resolving flood woes his main priority, and that his experience in the government would work as an advantage despite him being in the opposition, as he understood how the government worked and how to deal with civil servants.
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