BENTONG, Sept 30 — Barisan Nasional (BN) 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 Datuk Seri Dr 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 in the current situation. We are confident the people and voters can make the right choice and support (BN) again,” he told reporters after officiating at 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 Datuk Anselm Charles Fernandis saying the petitioner, Wan Mohamad Hisham Wan Abdul Jalil, a voter, succeeded in proving that corruption had taken place with the aim of influencing voters in GE15.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan was reported to have said that it would only decide whether to appeal the court decision or not after it has studied the grounds of judgment for that case.
In the 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 Datuk Seri Ahmad Said who received 38,535 votes, Pakatan Harapan’s Hasuni Sudin received 8,340 votes and Pejuang’s Rosli Ab. Ghani received 506 votes.
Asked if former Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said will again be fielded in the parliamentary constituency, Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said the matter had not been discussed yet.
Commenting on the Pelangai state by-election, Ahmad Zahid expressed confidence BN can continue to defend the seat.
“However, we must continue to strive because we know the opposition will try their 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.”
Ahmad Zahid said an assemblyman who is “on the same wavelength with the state and country” will definitely be able to provide the best service for the people of Pelangai.
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, Ahmad Zahid 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 (EC) has fixed Oct 7 for the Pelangai by-election following the death of its incumbent assemblyman Datuk Seri Johari Harun, who was killed in a plane crash in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Aug 17.
The by-election involves a three-cornered fight between BN candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam, Kasim Samat of PN and Independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni.