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Johor polls: Muhyiddin may not defend Gambir seat

Johor polls: Muhyiddin may not defend Gambir seat
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

SHAH ALAM: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday (Jan 25) he may not defend the Gambir seat in the upcoming Johor state election. 

The former Malaysian prime minister said this is to enable him to fully focus on matters at the parliamentary and federal levels, as well as to manage party affairs. 

“I may not contest but this is up to the (collective) leadership. I want to pave the way for many more personalities in Johor, especially for this seat, but it is up to them as to who gets to contest there. We will decide,” he told reporters after chairing the Johor Bersatu Liaison Committee meeting on Tuesday. 

Muhyiddin won the Gambir seat in Malaysia's 14th General Election in 2018. 

A date has not been set for the state polls, but an election must be held within 60 days of Jan 22 when the Johor state assembly was dissolved.

The recent death of Bersatu's Osman Sapian, the Kempas assemblyman, had prompted speculation of a state election, as it meant that the governing coalition only has 28 members against the Pakatan Harapan's 27 in Johor’s 56-member state assembly.

Muhyiddin, who is also Johor Bersatu chairman, said all 26 party divisions in Johor have mobilised their election machinery for the 56 state seats to be contested. 

Bersatu's partners in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition - PAS and Gerakan - are also of the view that PN should contest the 56 seats, he added.

“Early preparations have begun, and from a cooperation point of view, PAS has confirmed it will be with PN while there are no issues from Gerakan and the Sabah-based parties,” said Muhyiddin, who is PN chairman.

On suggestions that PN cooperates with other parties for the state election, he said the coalition was open to views and proposals as long as they are in line with PN’s struggles. 

Muhyiddin said PN will approach the Johor election based on experiences learned when contesting the Melaka state election, while also being mindful of an increase in the electoral roll following the automatic registration of those aged 18 and above as voters. 

“We will give serious attention to how we can attract the support of youths, young voters and those who have never voted but have been automatically registered by the Election Commission. 

On younger candidates for the Johor election, Muhyiddin said: “We want to give them a chance as I understand as this the era of the young, but a combination of young and seasoned is reasonable. There is no party that sidelines its older members entirely to field its young, but these are early days and so, there is no final decision yet.”

Source: Bernama/fh(ta)

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