Melaka Polls: BN to field 86% new faces, retains four incumbents


MELAKA — Barisan Nasional (BN) will field 86 per cent new faces while retaining only four incumbents for the Melaka state election on Nov 20.

BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan when announcing the list of candidates said the four incumbents were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali; Health and Anti-Drug Committee chairman Datuk Rahmad Mariman; Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis and Datuk Zaidi Attan.

Muhammad Jailani previously won the Rembia state seat on PKR ticket in the 14th General Election (GE14) before leaving the party and joined UMNO on Jan 1.

“We will have 20 candidates from UMNO, seven from MCA and one from MIC for the state election,” Mohamad said at the announcement of BN candidates at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur today.

Also present were MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and BN Advisory Board chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Melaka UMNO liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh will be fielded for the first time in Tanjung Bidara while his deputy who is also the Senate Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad was named as BN candidate for the Sungai Udang state seat.

The announcement saw eight incumbents, namely Datuk Ismail Othman (Kuala Linggi), Datuk Md Rawi Mahmud (Tanjung Bidara), Datuk Amirudin Yusof (Ayer Limau), Datuk Latipah Omar (Taboh Naning), Datuk Seri Abdul Ghafar Atan (Asahan), Datuk Ghazale Mohamad (Rim), Datuk Roslan Ahmad (Merlimau) dan Datuk Hasan Abd Rahman (Sungai Rambai) being dropped from the list.

Mohamad, who is also BN election director, said the fresh faces include UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Khaidhirah Abu Zahar who was named the candidate for the Rim state seat; Melaka UMNO Youth chief Fairul Nizam Roslan (Asahan); Rosli Abdullah (Kuala Linggi); Hameed Mytheen Kunju Basheer (Ayer Limau), Zulkiflee Mohd Zain (Taboh Naning), Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh (Merlimau) and Siti Faizah Abdul Azis (Sungai Rambai).

“A majority of our candidates are below 50. We will also have five women candidates for the state election,” said Mohamad.

He stressed that BN will contest in all 28 state seats on its own, using its own logo.

In addition, Mohamad said the list of candidates announced today had been agreed upon by all BN component parties and the candidates also did not have any legal issues after going through screenings by relevant agencies.

He also expressed confidence that the candidates who consisted of educated young people from various professions could be accepted by the people of Melaka to build a strong state government and hoped that voters would give a mandate to the coalition.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said BN assemblymen who leave the party after winning the election would face legal action.

“We will bring them to court and the court will decide on the punishment. So, those who intend to leave the party after this will have to think twice,” he said.

Yesterday, Mohamad said BN candidates must sign a statutory declaration (SD) to prevent them from leaving the party after winning.

The Election Commission has set Nov 20 for polling for the Melaka state election and Nov 8 as nomination day. Early voting will be conducted on Nov 16.

The election is being held following the dissolution of the State Assembly on Oct 4, after four assemblymen withdrew their support for the Chief Minister.