JOHOR BARU, Aug 29 — Umno Youth has admitted that it is facing challenges in persuading the party’s grassroots to support the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate in the upcoming Pulai parliamentary by-election, said Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh.
The Umno Youth chief said that most of the issue stemmed from being the first time that Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno not fielding a candidate to contest in the south Johor seat.
“It is definitely a challenge when we (BN-Umno) are not contesting this time round as the coalition has never been known to fail in fielding a candidate for Pulai before,” he said at an Umno Youth programme at Medan Selera Taman Cempaka here last night.
However, Dr Muhamad Akmal said he is confident that Umno’s supporters would look at the importance of supporting the PH candidate for the stability of the unity government.
“We have our own strategies to sit down and explain in detail to the grassroots for them to understand.
“God willing Umno’s grassroots support for PH will be expressed at the ballot box on polling day come September 9,” he told reporters after the event.
Present at the programme were Umno Youth deputy chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah and Johor Umno Youth chief Noor Azleen Ambros.
Earlier, the Umno Youth leaders introduced PH’s Pulai parliamentary candidate Suhaizan Kayat to the their supporters.
On a separate matter, Dr Muhamad Akmal, who is also the Melaka state government’s health and anti-narcotics committee chairman, said the presence of Umno Youth members in the Pulai parliamentary constituency showed that the party’s wing fully supported the PH candidate.
“I have instructed all Umno Youth members nationwide to gather here and in Simpang Jeram so that we can ensure that the BN votes will be cast for PH in the ballot boxes on polling day,” he said.
On Sunday, it was reported that Umno supreme council member Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed will persuade the party’s Pulai division’s branch leaders who are not keen to support PH for the upcoming Pulai by-election.
Nur Jazlan, who is also the Pulai Umno division chief, said that he will engage with the Umno leaders and members at the grassroots to explain the importance of supporting Suhaizan Kayat, the by-election’s PH candidate.