JOHOR BARU, Aug 30 — Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Pulai parliamentary candidate Zulkifli Jaafar does not consider a purported internal turmoil brewing in a rival coalition party’s division as an advantage for his campaign.
He said that there was no point in depending on the supposed troubles of the Pulai Umno division for a win.
“We are not like that. We don’t take advantage of a rival party’s turmoil in its division for our own benefit.
“If we entertain or depend on that situation, we are weak and delusional. Personally, there is no other way to win, other than hard work.
“What happens in the Pulai Umno division, if true, can only be described as a bonus and nothing more,” he told reporters while on his campaign trail in Kempas here today.
Zulkifli was asked to comment on the issue of dissatisfied Pulai Umno members who were said to have expressed their unhappiness with their party’s leadership via banners last week.
Banners printed with the “Kami cawangan-cawangan Umno Pulai menolak calon Pakatan Harapan!! (We the Pulai Umno branches reject the Pakatan Harapan candidate!!)” had been up by persons unknown in several areas across the constituency.
Zulkifli, who is the Pulai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) deputy division chief, denied that PN were responsible for the banners.
The 50-year-old activist was previously from Pulai Umno before quitting the party in 2016 to join Bersatu, which is PN’s lynchpin party.
For the remaining 10 days of campaigning, Zulkifli explained that PN’s election machinery must approach voters in all 40 district polling centres in Perling and Kempas under the Pulai parliamentary seat.
The 50-year-old entrepreneur said that his team also did not want to be complacent based on the so-called “green wave” phenomenon that could help him win the by-election.
Last Saturday, Umno supreme council member Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed denied that grassroots Umno members are unhappy with having to support the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Suhaizan Kayat for the Pulai parliamentary by-election.
His response came after pictures of the banners were posted online and on social media, causing consternation among PH supporters.
Nur Jazlan, who is Pulai Ummo chief, believes they are the work of mischief makers outside his party. He said that the banners were removed following complaints.
Johor Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan also claimed that the banners were put up by the Opposition in an effort to divide PH and Barisan Nasional (BN).
It is understood that Umno branch leaders in the Pulai division rejected PH candidate Suhaizan.
Following that, on Saturday, Pulai Umno division chief, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, will meet with the branch heads of the division to try and persuade those who do not want to support Suhaizan in the Pulai parliamentary by-election.
The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections were called following the death of incumbent, Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, on July 23.
Salahuddin, the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president, was 61. He was also the domestic trade and cost of living minister.
The Election Commission has set the polling date for both by-elections on September 9, with early voting is on September 5.