BENTONG: Barisan Nasional is ready to contest in the Kemaman parliamentary by-election, if it is held, after the election court nullified PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid’s victory in the 15th general election (GE15).
BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said although the party lost by a big majority in GE15, there is still the possibility of BN springing a surprise.
“We can challenge even if we are the underdogs. We are confident the people and voters can make the right choice and support (BN) again,” he told reporters after the launch of the MyFutureJobs Career Carnival at Felda Chemomoi here today.
On Sept 26, the Terengganu election court nullified the victory of Che Alias, with judge Anselm Charles Fernandis saying the petitioner, Wan Mohamad Hisham Wan Abdul Jalil (a voter), had succeeded in proving that corruption had taken place with the aim of influencing voters in GE15.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan was reported to have said that they would only decide whether to appeal the court decision after studying the grounds of judgment.
In GE15 held in November 2022, Che Alias won the Kemaman parliamentary seat with a majority of 27,179 votes after obtaining 65,714 votes to defeat BN’s Ahmad Said (38,535 votes), Pakatan Harapan’s Hasuni Sudin (8,340 votes) and Pejuang’s Rosli Ab Ghani (506 votes).
Asked if Ahmad, who is the former Terengganu menteri besar, would again be fielded in the parliamentary constituency, Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister, said the matter had not been discussed yet.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Pelangai state by-election, Zahid was confident that BN will be able to retain the seat.
“However, we must continue to strive because we know the opposition will try its best to deny us the support of the people in Pelangai.
“I am confident that voters in Pelangai are very close to BN and will pick a representative who can provide continuity of service,” he said.
Asked about the allegations by Takiyuddin on the unusually heavy police presence during the campaign activities of Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the Pelangai by-election, Zahid said it was just an issue being played up by the opposition to cause confusion.
“The police are very professional in carrying out their duties and they try to accommodate all parties and their candidates during campaigning. Do not question the professionalism of any enforcement agency, including the police,” he said.
The Election Commission has fixed Oct 7 for the Pelangai by-election following the death of its incumbent assemblyman, Johari Harun, in a plane crash in Shah Alam on Aug 17.
The seat is being contested by BN candidate Amizar Abu Adam, Kasim Samat of PN and independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni.