Perak UMNO liaison committee chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad said the party’s election machinery and grassroots would go all out to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) could retain the state seat.
“We have directed our machinery not to take this by-election lightly. Whether we are facing independent or Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates, we will go all out to win this by-election,” he told reporters after attending the launch of the state-level 2020 National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign here yesterday (July 28).
On Sunday, Perak PKR deputy chairman Datuk MA Tinagaran said the decision not to contest in the Slim by-election was made after taking into account the current situation of COVID-19 in the country.
Tinagaran said PKR had informed to decision to other Perak PH component members in a meeting held on July 24.
Meanwhile, Saarani said the Perak UMNO has yet to finalise its candidate but the individual must be well known and accepted by all levels of society in the state constituency.
“This is because being well known and accepted only by UMNO members and BN supporters will not help us in winning the by-election. We need votes from others as well,” he said.
The Slim state by-election will be held on Aug 29 following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib on July 15 due to heart attack.
In the 14th General Election, Mohd Khusairi defended the Slim state seat for the fourth term with a majority of 2,183 votes, defeating Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) candidate who contested on PH ticket, Mohd Amran Ibrahim and PAS candidate Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal.
There are 59 state seats in Perak in which 32 formed the Perikatan Nasional coalition comprising 25 BN (UMNO), Bersatu (four) and PAS (three), while DAP holds 16 seats, Amanah (five), PKR (three), independent (two) and Gerakan (one).