PEKAN, Pahang: Pekan United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) division committee member Mohd Sharim Md Zain has been named as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for the Chini state by-election.
Pahang BN chief Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail announced this at the Pekan UMNO hall on Thursday (Jun 18).
He said Mohd Sharim, 41, a second-generation Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settler, was selected mainly because he was a local and was well acquainted with the leadership of the late Chini assemblyman Abu Bakar Harun.
The Chini by-election was called after Abu Bakar died on May 6 from a heart attack.
Wan Rosdy said Pahang BN had been thorough in its selection process to pick someone who fulfilled the criteria set by the top leadership.
“Besides having worked closely with the late Abu Bakar, Mohd Sharim is a local who knows the community in the Chini constituency and is suitable to be the people’s choice,” he added.
Even though the Chini by-election will be held during the recovery movement control order (MCO) period, the BN machinery is ready for the battle, said Wan Rosdy, who is also the Pahang chief minister.
Mohd Sharim thanked the BN leadership for placing its trust in him.
INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FROM BERSATU
The deputy chief of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Pekan division, Tengku Zainul Hisham Tengku Hussin also announced his intention to contest the Chini state by-election as an independent candidate.
Tengku Zainul Hisham, 64, will be using the manifesto “Becoming the Voice of the People of Chini”, and described his decision to contest after taking into account feedback from Chini residents.
“The decision was taken after careful consideration and I am prepared to face any risk that the party may have in my decision to contest, taking into account the collaboration of Perikatan Nasional between Bersatu and UMNO.
“As an independent candidate, I cannot promise the moon and the stars to the people, but I have my own support and as a native of Pekan, I have listened to the problems of the local residents for a long time,” he told a press conference at Felda Chini 2 on Thursday.
Tengku Zainul Hisham promised to be the voice of the people of Chini if they dared to “change the tradition” by accepting an independent representative, besides believing that voters have the will to bring change to what is known as an UMNO stronghold.
Tengku Zainul Hisham, a businessman and retired policeman, also appealed to voters to give him a chance to serve in the short period left before the 15th general election.
The Election Commission set Jun 20 for nominations and Jul 4 for polling.
The by-election will be the first to be held since the imposition of the MCO on Mar 18 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Chini seat is one of the four state constituencies under the Pekan parliamentary constituency.
In the 14th general election, Abu Bakar retained the Chini seat with a 4,622-vote majority, beating Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) candidate Mohd Fadhil Noor Abdul Karim, who received 5,405 votes, and Mohamad Razali Ithnain from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), who obtained only 1,065 votes.
Chini has 20,900 registered voters, comprising 20,972 regular voters and 18 early voters.
Those aged 40 and below make up 56 per cent of the voters.