JOHOR BARU, July 29 ― Former Johor mentri besar Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad said Umno’s leadership has given him the consent to contest a parliament seat for the coming 15th general election (GE15).
He said the party’s central leadership has agreed for him to be a parliamentary candidate after he had earlier expressed his willingness to run for a federal seat in the coming polls.
“The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will first need to discuss seat distribution matters between component parties at the national level.
“I will leave it to the party’s leadership to determine which parliament seat will be for me to stand in,” said Hasni to reporters after attending a Johor Media Club (KMJ) appreciation dinner held at the Grand Almizan Restaurant in Avenue M here last night.
The Johor Umno liaison committee chief and state BN leader was responding to a Malay Mail report published yesterday that he will contest in one of three potential parliament constituencies.
The report, quoting Umno sources, suggested that Hasni will possibly contest in either Pontian or Tanjung Piai seats. The report added that Simpang Renggam was also a potential seat for him.
On his personal choice of federal seat in Johor to contest in, Hasni said he does not have a personal list of his preferred parliamentary constituencies to contest in.
“Given a choice, of course I would want to stand as a candidate in my own area (Pontian), but I will leave that decision to the party‘s leadership,” said the Benut assemblyman and Pontian Umno division chief.
However, Hasni pointed out that there were former Umno leaders who were from other states and divisions but contested in Johor.
“In Johor we had former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam who hailed from the Segamat Umno division but contested in Kota Tinggi in 1986.
“Another example is former Cabinet minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar who was originally from the Bukit Bintang Umno division but contested and served for five terms in Kota Tinggi from 1990 to 2008.
“So, I believe that the seat l will contest in will be dependent on the party’s situation and needs at that time,” said Hasni who is also an Umno supreme council member.
The 63-year-old career politician was once the Pontian MP from 2004 to 2008 before he entered state politics by contesting and winning the Benut state seat in 2008.
Since that time, Hasni has been the Benut assemblyman for the past three terms and was appointed as the Johor mentri besar on February 28, 2020.
However, Hasni was not reappointed as the Johor mentri besar after the state polls in March. Despite being touted as BN’s “poster boy”, the sudden move after the coalition had secured 40 out of 56 state seats had somehow left him without a post.