PETALING JAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Johari Ghani has set his sights on contesting the Titiwangsa parliamentary seat in the 15th general election (GE15), describing the constituency as a place close to his heart.
Having been born in Titiwangsa and gone to school in the area, the former second finance minister said he wanted to continue serving the local community, including redeveloping Kampung Baru.
“Many seats have been offered to me but I still want Titiwangsa,” he was quoted as saying in a Berita Harian report.
Johari did not view his 2018 loss to Wanita Bersatu leader Rina Harun as an absolute defeat, pointing out that she had only won with a majority of 4,139 votes.
Should he contest, it is possible that Johari, who is also Federal Territories Umno chief, will face Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Khalid Samad.
In the 13th general election in 2013, Johari won the seat for the first time and went on to be appointed deputy finance minister in 2015. He subsequently became second finance minister in 2016 after a Cabinet reshuffle.
Titiwangsa is shaping up to be one of the parliamentary seats to watch in GE15, with Johari among three big names from Barisan Nasional (BN), PH and Perikatan Nasional expected to clash at the polls.
Former federal territories minister Khalid Samad and Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal are also expected to contest for the seat.
Johari expressed confidence that BN would recapture the six opposition-controlled parliamentary seats in Kuala Lumpur, namely Titiwangsa, Batu, Lembah Pantai, Bandar Tun Razak, Wangsa Maju and Setiawangsa.
“With the right candidates, we have more than a 50% chance of winning in these constituencies. This is the centre. If we want to trigger a ‘tsunami’, it should start from here,” he said.
Asked on views that BN might need to work with opposition parties after the polls, Johari said he was open to the proposal and that Umno could discuss how to address grassroots’ sentiments on this after the GE15 results were out.
Johari said whoever formed the next government needed to have a competent Cabinet, or the nation’s economy would continue to suffer.
“The government needs to introduce unpopular policies if necessary. It may not be liked by many, but our future generations will benefit from it,” he said.