Despite earlier protest against Asyraf Wajdi in Gerik, BN sources dismiss chance of nomination resistance

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

IPOH, Nov 4 — Hours before nomination day, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) grassroots in Gerik have tempered their earlier disagreement against Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki contesting the seat.

Responding to an alleged commotion that happened during the division’s meeting, several sources from the division said that locals are more accepting of the Umno Youth chief now.

“The grassroots will accept anyone that wants to bring better development here in Gerik.

“The protest that happened a few days ago does not reflect the majority’s sentiment here about Datuk Asyraf being the candidate, it was just a minority opinion who are also supporters of the designated candidates,” one of the sources told Malay Mail.

Commenting on the reason for the scuffle believed to be between the Umno division’s grassroots members, sources put the blame on supporters of division chief Datuk Aznel Ibrahim who opposed the notion of a “parachute candidate”.

Sources added that Aznel, who is also the incumbent Pengkalan Hulu state assemblyman, has proposed to Perak Umno central leadership to consider about 15 local leaders to be fielded in the constituency.

“Most of the protesters were from Temenggor divisions because apparently they did not know that a foreign candidate would be contesting the seat.

“Most of us here in Pengkalan Hulu division have compromised on the decision that was made by the central leadership and will work together,” one of them said, referring to Temenggor and Pengkalan Hulu which are the state constituencies under Gerik.

Meanwhile, Gerik Umno youth chief Salehudin Isa dismissed the matter and said that it was a mere miscommunication among the grassroots leaders.

“Nothing happened, it was just a mere misunderstanding,” he briefly told Malay Mail.

Previously, it was reported that Aznel had sent 15 names including former Umno divisions youth and women chiefs to be fielded for Gerik.

It was also reported that Perak BN chairman Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad had also pledged that only locals will be accepted as candidates to be fielded in the upcoming GE15.

However, the coalition’s central leadership led by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced that Asyraf will be leading BN’s frontline in Gerik.

During the previous general election (GE14), BN won the Gerik parliamentary seat after the late Datuk Hasbullah Osman defeated PAS candidate Mohd Dahalan Ismail and Ibrahim Hanafiah from Bersatu with a 3,587-vote majority.

Gerik is a parliamentary constituency under Perak which is set to be the lynchpin state for all political parties contesting in the upcoming general election.