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Monday, May 30, 2016

Fielding former MP’s widow a joke, says ex-Umno leader

Hamidah Osman says she does not understand BN's strategy to field Mastura Mohd Yazid in the Kuala Kangsar by-election next month.
hamidah-osmanPETALING JAYA: The move by Barisan Nasional (BN) to field the widow of Kuala Kangsar’s former MP as a candidate in the upcoming by-election is a joke, a former party leader has said.
Hamidah Osman, who is former Wanita Umno Information chief, claimed that there were those among the party’s grassroots who were not agreeable to Mastura Mohd Yazid being fielded as a candidate as the widow was still in “iddah” following the death of her husband Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash earlier this month.
Mastura was also seen as someone politically experienced, Hamidah argued, and added, “I don’t understand what strategy they (BN) are using by putting Mastura as a candidate.”
“If they are choosing candidates to garner sympathy, this shows Umno and BN are in a critical state,” Hamidah said, arguing that fielding candidates who could serve the rakyat and who were of great calibre was a better strategy and one that the ruling coalition had used in the past.
She said the campaign period leading up to any by-election involved more than merely garnering votes for candidates. She said it was a time for candidates to familiarise themselves with the problems faced by the rakyat in their constituency so they would be better able to bring about change should they get elected as MPs.
“When a candidate does not go down to the ground, I am certain it will be a handicap and I am not confident the people will vote for BN’s candidate even though sympathy votes are important.
“This is not a time to look for sympathy and hope that people will vote for her (Mastura) because she is his (former MP) widow,” Hamidah told FMT today.
Hamidah, who is also Gopeng Wanita Umno chief, expressed her worry that voters in Kuala Kangsar would reject BN and give their votes to PAS instead.
“Their support for the Opposition may not be because they actually like the Opposition, but more because they don’t like BN’s candidate and they have no choice.
“As it stands, I feel PAS has a better chance of winning,” she said, explaining that Mastura’s inability to meet with voters personally due to being in “iddah” coupled with the controversies linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak, would make the people angry enough to vote for PAS.
Hamidah said another reason why the vote could likely go to the Opposition was because rubber tappers and oil palm planters in Kuala Kangsar, were burdened with the falling prices of rubber and palm oil and were already angry.
Earlier, Mastura apologised to the party’s election machinery for being unable to meet with Kuala Kangsar folks since she was still in her “idah” period, a time in which a Muslim woman cannot leave the house following the death of her husband.

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