By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
PUTRAJAYA: Having learnt a lesson from the “Permatang Pasir experience”, Umno is determined to be more careful in choosing its candidate for the up-coming Bagan Pinang by-election.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the party would ensure the proposed candidate is “carefully vetted” so that there would not be a repeat of the Permatang Pasir saga.
Muhyiddin stressed that Umno had always been careful in selecting its candidates for elections, but admitted there were “glitches” when selecting Rohaizat Othman as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the recent Permatang Pasir by-election.
“This time around, we will ensure better vetting. This is because we need to chose a candidate who voters will not only accept but also support,” he told reporters after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Sports meeting Tuesday.
Many had blamed Barisan’s loss in Permatang Pasir to the poor selection of candidate as during the campaign period, Rohaizat’s “problems” surfaced and the Opposition took the advantage to “character-assassinate” the Barisan candidate.
Asked if Umno would meet the demands from party grassroots to field former mentri besar and Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Isa Samad in the Bagan Pinang by-election, Muhyiddin said no names had been forwarded to him yet by the division and the state Umno.
“Once I have the names, I will discuss it with party president (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) and a decision will be made then. As of now, I don’t have the list.
“There are names being mentioned but it will have to be brought to us officially,” said Muhyiddin.
In 2005, Isa was slapped with a three-year suspension after he was found guilty by the Umno disciplinary board for money politics during the party’s 2004 election. - The Star