September 26, 2009 oleh HermanSamsudeen
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
Mahathir’s Bagan Pinang campaign poster? — file pic
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 26 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reaffirmed his stand that Tan Sri Isa Samad should not be nominated to represent Umno for the by-election in Bagan Pinang on Oct 11.
He also suggested sarcastically that Umno should nominate him to stand instead of Isa if there were no other suitable candidate.
He stated it would be a shame on the part of Umno and Barisan National (BN) as a whole if Isa won the by-election, and that this would directly impact the ruling coalition collectively.
“If I was in Isa’s shoes, I would step down immediately and support another Umno candidate. I would want the party to not nominate me but instead campaign for someone else in the party who is more deserving and qualified,” said Dr Mahathir here today.
Dr Mahathir has been a vocal critic of the possible nomination of the former Negeri Sembilan mentri besar, who was punished with a three-year suspension after the party’s disciplinary board found him guilty of vote buying during the Umno elections in 2004.
According to him, Umno stands a strong chance of winning the Bagan Pinang seat because the area was an Umno stronghold, but having a candidate who was found to have been involved in corruption does not speak well for Umno and BN.
“If Umno cannot find enough candidates, just choose me,” Dr Mahathir quipped.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has set itself the target of capturing the Umno stronghold but has acknowledged it as an uphill battle.
Critics speculate that Umno has a good chance of retaining the seat due to the high number of registered postal votes, which traditionally is a reliable vote bank for BN.
The Bagan Pinang Seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Azman Mohamad Noor of Barisan National on September 4th. He won the seat in the last general elections after defeating PAS’ Ramli Ismail with a majority of 2,333 votes.