JOHOR BARU, Aug 24 — Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) component party Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) is optimistic that its Malay voter base in Johor, especially in the Pulai parliamentary and the Simpang Jeram state seats, will support the unity coalition’s candidates in the upcoming by-elections next month.
Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu claimed that rumours of Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) “green wave” spreading to Johor were unfounded.
He also said that he would not be commenting further on this.
“Let’s put aside the issue of increasing or reducing PH’s majority during the by-elections first.
“What is important is PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) strengthening their joint machinery in an effort to achieve a comfortable victory.
“With that, PH is confident that it will be able to maintain its past victory in Pulai as well as Simpang Jeram with a comfortable win this time round,” said Mohamad to reporters at a PH candidate introductory session for the Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections at Thistle Hotel here today.
Also present were Amanah’s three vice-presidents, Adly Zahari, Datuk Mahfuz Omar and Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa, as well as Amanah Johor chief Aminolhuda Hassan.
They were joined by Umno supreme council member Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who was also representing BN, and several Johor PH state leaders.
Earlier, Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, officially met and introduced the PH-BN candidates.
Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional leaders with the unity coalition’s Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-election candidates at Thistle Hotel in Johor Baru August 24, 2023. — Picture by Ben Tan
Former Johor state legislative assembly Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat is the candidate for Pulai, while former engineer Nazri Abdul Rahman will contest Simpang Jeram.
Mohamad, who is also the agriculture and food security minister, added PH is confident that its Malay voters will remain loyal to the coalition.
He noted that the people of Johor are not overtly obsessed with PN and its component PAS.
“The view of the Malay voters in Johor will change in the by-elections this time was a purported claim by the Opposition,” said the Kota Raja MP.
Mohamad said that PH’s component parties, namely DAP and PKR, have committed to ensuring victory for the two Amanah candidates.
He said BN, which is PH’s new partner, was also committed to helping the coalition’s machinery in an effort to maintain wins for the two seats.
Yesterday, PN named local businessman Zulkifli Jaafar as its candidate for the Pulai by-election, while consultant surgeon Dr Mohd Mazri Yahya is the coalition’s candidate for Simpang Jeram.
The Election Commission has fixed nomination day for both the Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections for this Saturday and polling for September 9, while early voting falls on September 5.
The two by-elections were called after Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, who was the incumbent for both seats, died on July 23 due to a brain haemorrhage. He was 61.
Salahuddin was Amanah deputy president and the domestic trade and cost of living minister.