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BN candidate for Teluk Intan by-election gets boost from M'sian DPM

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday appealed to the constituents of Teluk Intan to vote for Mah Siew Keong of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the by-election on May 31, saying Mah had a good track record as the MP in the two terms from 1999.

TELUK INTAN: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday appealed to the constituents of Teluk Intan to vote for Mah Siew Keong of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the by-election on May 31, saying Mah had a good track record as the MP in the two terms from 1999.

His service to the constituents during the two terms was one of the factors that led to his selection as the BN candidate because he was well-known in the constituency and had proven himself as the MP, he said.

The by-election is a straight fight between Mah, 53, and Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, 27, of the DAP.

Mah, the Gerakan president, had served as the MP from 1999 to 2008. In 2008, he lost to DAP's M. Manogaran and in 2013, to Seah Leong Peng. The by-election is being held following the death of Seah on May 1.

Muhyiddin, who is the BN deputy chairman, said he hoped that the 60,349 voters in Teluk Intan would vote for Mah, who is a native of Teluk Intan.

"The (BN) leadership has chosen Mah based on his experience in the government and party, the constituents know him and he has done a lot for them," Muhyiddin told reporters after nomination for the parliamentary by-election at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Perak here.

Replying to a question, Muhyiddin dismissed the assumption that Mah was a recycled candidate, saying the important thing was understanding the aspirations of the constituents.

Mah is being fielded for the fifth time for the Teluk Intan seat. He won the seat in the general election in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004. He lost the seat in 2008 and failed to recapture it in 2013.

"There are times when you win and there are times when you lose. This time, we are hoping for a change in the trend. We made the decision (to field Mah) after much thought," said Muhyiddin.

The deputy prime minister was asked a question about Dyana Sofya's mother, Yammy Samat, 59, who is an Umno member, and he said this did not pose any risk to BN.

"The important thing is for us to promote our candidate, one who is good, smart, energetic and experienced," he said.

Asked about the BN's chances in the by-election, Muhyiddin said that right now the coalition had a 50-50 chance of taking the seat and he was confident the BN would be able to convince the voters in the coming days.

He said the BN had activated its machinery at all levels and it was important to convince the voters regarding the coalition's policies and send across the message that the BN was not a racist party but a party for all races.

"That is what we have been and will carry on doing," he said.

Muhyiddin said the BN machinery was more integrated for this by-election and "I am convinced we can work towards a victory."

The deputy prime minister held an hour-long meeting with members of the polling district at the Teluk Intan rest house.

Perak Menteri Besar and State Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Zambery Abdul Kadir and BN and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as well as Mah attended the meeting. Muhyiddin returned to Kuala Lumpur after the meeting.

Early voting for by-election is on May 27 and polling, on May 31. 

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