REMBAU, Nov 9 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan clarified that he did not push incumbent Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin out from Negri Sembilan.
In a ceramah last night, Mohamad, well-known locally as Tok Mat, claimed that Khairy was told about Rembau plans way back in 2018.
"I need to tell you this because people are saying that I chased KJ (Khairy) out.
"I never chased KJ. For your information ladies and gentlemen, I sat with KJ in November 2018 after the general election.
"KJ, I will go to Parliament because I am deputy president now. Khairy said he understood and asked me to find him a suitable seat.
"That was the agreement between the two of us, we didn’t have a problem so why do others want to be nosy?” Mohamad told his audience at Taman Widuri Indah, a local neighbourhood here.
He added that he did look for a place in Negri Sembilan, describing that he wanted to send Khairy to Tampin but the folks there did not want the caretaker health minister.
"Kuala Pilah didn’t want (him).... What a waste.
"So I had to find a place that is the safest because Sungai Buloh, for three terms we didn’t field an Umno candidate.
"Sungai Buloh constituents were excited to have an Umno, a Malay candidate — 70 per cent are Malay voters — that’s why KJ when he went there and he got an extraordinary welcome, right?
"So, don’t say I’m jealous, if I’m jealous of KJ, I would have sent him to contest in Bukit Kepong, or Seputeh or Bukit Bintang,” he said.
Mohamad also recalled arguing over the Sungai Buloh seat with MIC as the seat in the past was contested by MIC.
"I argued with MIC. I said I want to put KJ there, you shut up, I want KJ to be there.
"You want it or not, you like it or not, up to you,” he said telling off people who cast doubt on his actions.
He also explained that he too wanted to see a Negri Sembilan native succeed, but it was the Negri Sembilan people who pushed their ‘fortune’ away.
"Tampin, for instance, but actually Sungai Buloh is safer than Tampin. But Kuala Pilah is actually okay, but Kuala Pilah folks don’t want outsiders,” he added.
When met by reporters, Mohamad gave Khairy advice and that is to "work hard and not take things for granted.”
"I wish him all the best. I feel that he has a big chance of winning Sungai Buloh because of high-spirited voters — the Malay voters — since they lost three consecutive terms when represented by MIC.
"I hope that he gets a comfortable win, but he has to work hard, don’t take things for granted,” added Mohamad.
The Rembau parliamentary seat became a heavily debated topic when Khairy claimed that he was told to give way and not contest the seat in this general election.
In September, Khairy defended himself, indicating that he spoke the truth and that he was told to ‘get out of the way’ by Mohamad in the same month.
Khairy at the time also said that if it boils down to no seat offers, he would opt out of the election.
The three-term Rembau MP also reportedly said that being a Rembau native, it was embarrassing to encroach into other areas.