Pilihan Raya Kecil Tenang: Siapa bakal calon?
BN looks set on fielding a local for the Tenang by-election while PAS is considering possible candidates from other areas.
According to Labis Umno division deputy chief Hashim Daud, the seven candidates proposed to the national leadership are committee members at the division level.
“All the names submitted consist of people who are active Labis Umno division members and have offered themselves as candidates,” he said when contacted today.
He said the submission of an unusually long list of potential candidates reflects the division’s “open policy”, where anyone who offered himself or herself would be listed.
While declining to reveal the names of those on the list, it is believed that Hashim, a former principal of a secondary school in Labis, is among them.
Others supposed to be in the list include another retired school principal, Jaim Yunus, 54, the former Labis Umno division information chief.
Jaim was defeated in a narrow contest with recently-deceased Labis state legislative assemblyperson Sulaiman Taha for the post of division chief in 2008.
Labis Wanita chief and entrepreneur Haslinda Salleh, 38, from Chaah, and Youth chief Mansor Birat are also said to have offered themselves as candidates.
Mazlan Aliman a favourite
Meanwhile, Johor PAS deputy commissioner and by-election director Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the party will not field a local and has shortlisted several candidates from neighbouring areas.
“The issue of whether a candidate is local or not does not arise as the potential candidates are all familiar with the situation in Labis.
“There are many areas which are close to Labis. The candidate could be from Segamat or even Pagoh, where our state commissioner is from,” he said, adding that the party election machinery began work in Tenang on Dec 25.
State commissioner and former academic Mahfodz Mohamed is a popular figure in PAS Johor, but PAS central committee member, Kulai-bred Mazlan Aliman, is also in the running.
Mazlan (above, right) is best known for his work with the Felda communities, through his role as president of the National Association of Children of Felda Settlers (Anak).
The Tenang constituency includes three Felda settlements – Chemplak, Chemplak Barat and Tenang – where PAS secured less than 20 percent of the votes in the 2008 general election.
Youth leaders in the mix
The party’s wariness about these areas is evident, with Dzulkefly calling for a fair fight “without provocation” in these areas, which he acknowledged as “Umno strongholds”.
Other Johor PAS leaders said to be under consideration are national Youth information chief and Muar resident Suhaizan Kayat and national Youth secretary and Johor Youth chief Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil from Kluang.
Both contested in the 2004 and 2008 general election but were defeated.
Nomination day is on Jan 22 while polling will take place on Jan 30.
The constituency is traditionally held by Umno, and is located in the parliamentary constituency of Labis, which is currently held by MCA’s Chua Tee Yong.
Labis was won by then-MCA president Ling Liong Sik in 1986 and later passed to Chua’s father and current MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek in 2004.
In the 2008 general election, BN won Tenang with a majority of 2,492 votes.