GEORGE TOWN: Permatang Pauh Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid said the Barisan Nasional candidate for Permatang Pasir Rohaizat Othman should have been honest with party leaders about his background and the issues surrounding his candidacy.
"If he had informed me (about all this), I would have objected to his candidacy ... instead, he chose to keep the truth to himself.
"He was not honest and has put Umno and the BN in a bad light."
Jalil said the division should, therefore, not be blamed for the Barisan Nasional's defeat in the Permatang Pasir state by-election on Tuesday.
In this regard, the division would also review Rohaizat's position as the Permatang Pauh division secretary, he said.
Jalil also pointed out that Rohaizat's candidacy was not decided by the division leaders.
He said the division had come under fire from critics following Rohaizat's defeat in the by-election.
"We have been accused of misleading the national leadership into consenting to Rohaizat's candidacy but this is a lie."
Rohaizat lost to Pas' Mohd Salleh Man with a 4,551-vote majority in the by-election.
He obtained 5,067 votes compared to Mohd Salleh's 9.618 votes.
Throughout the campaign period, Pas relentlessly attacked Rohaizat for being disbarred by the Bar Council and also on his personal life.
Jalil said the division comprised 37 committee members, including him.
"However, I only submitted 36 names to the Umno national leadership for consideration.
"I excluded myself as I had made it known right from the start that I was not interested in contesting the by-election."
Jalil added that at no time was he aware of the issues surrounding Rohaizat.
"He never said anything to any of us and we thought he was clean. Also, we did not hear anything bad about him before this.
"Do you think I would jump into a well if I knew it was there in the first place?" - NST