KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Former Selangor mentri besar Mohamad Khir Toyo revealed that he wishes to contest the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat in the coming election because he regards the parliamentary constituency as his “home”.
He said this in response to Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos’ rebuke on June 5 that that Mohamad Khir should “go back” instead of making a “comeback” upon receiving news that Khir wishes to contest the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat in the coming election.
“With regard to me and Sungai Besar, I’ve never left Sungai Besar,” he told Malaysiakini during an interview. Prior to his position as Selangor mentri besar in 2000, he was the Sungai Panjang state assemblyman — one of the two state seats under the Sungai Besar parliamentary constituency, the other being Sekinchan.
He won the Sungai Panjang seat at the 1999 general election, holding the position until he was defeated in 2008.
“People say ‘go back’, of course, I’d go back to Sungai Besar because my home is in Sungai Besar. My political career began in Sungai Besar.
“So Alhamdulillah for telling me to go back to Sungai Besar, I have no problem with that,” Mohamad Khir was quoted as saying.
He reportedly said that his priority is to win the seat back for Barisan Nasional (BN) as it is currently held by Bersatu’s Muslimin Yahya, who won it in the 14th general election.
He also claimed that he often goes on the ground to conduct activities in the villages around Sungai Besar, but that these actions go unreported in the media.
When asked about whether he would take a second shot at being Selangor mentri besar he reportedly replied: “I’ve done enough already. I think the damage done is very bad, let it be someone who is more capable than I am.” He also admitted that he made mistakes in his role as chief minister which contributed to BN losing Selangor.
He had drawn controversy in 2007 by presenting a broom to Hulu Selangor District Council and the Hulu Selangor Land Office upon failure to collect assessment tax above the 50 per cent target, a move that drew criticism from various parties including the Union of Employees in the Public Service.
He was also sentenced to 12 months of imprisonment in 2015 because of corruption, but he was released on parole after six months.
During the interview with Malaysiakini, he reportedly expressed a belief that people were ready to return to BN.
“People have seen what can be done by the government, and I’ve seen many condemn Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional’s failures. With the situation we’re going through today, people seem to be getting back to BN.
“Although I don’t think it is a huge group, there is a percentage of people who are returning to BN, and it can’t be denied there is increased support for BN at by-elections and in the Sabah, Malacca, and Johor state elections,” he was quoted as saying.