Johor Polls: BN Fields 70% New Faces

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80 per cent of BN candidates for this Johor polls also have high academic qualifications and are aged below 55

Johor – Barisan Nasional (BN) will be fielding over 70 per cent of new faces as their candidates in the Johor state election.

Its chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said more than 80% of the coalition’s candidates for the polls also have high academic qualifications and are aged below 55.

“We looked into several criteria with the concept of winnability, acceptability and likeability, and we believe this team can become the game-changer as well as bring new hope to Johor,” Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) reported as he said at the Johor UMNO headquarters here on Thursday (24 Feb).

The announcement was made by Johor BN chairman Hasni Mohammad involving the three BN component parties — UMNO, MCA and MIC.

UMNO will contest 37 seats, while MCA will contest 15 and MIC four.

Zahid said BN believes that the combination of candidates from the professionals and the experienced would be able to garner over 700,000 votes from young voters following the implementation of Undi18.

Zahid also announced that Hasni, who is also BN’s poster boy for the state polls, would be reappointed as the Johor Menteri Besar if BN wins the people’s mandate to form the new state government.

Meanwhile, when announcing the names, Hasni said MCA is still finalising the names of their candidates to give the best to Johor.

In the list of candidates, 10 incumbents, eight of which are from UMNO and two from MIC, would contest to defend their seats.

Hasni himself will be defending his Benut seat. The other seats to be defended by UMNO incumbents are Buloh Kasap, Sri Medan, Semarang, Pasir Raja, Parit Raja, Panti and Tanjung Surat, while MIC will be defending their traditional Kahang and Tenggaroh seats.

UMNO Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi who lost in Batu Pahat in the 13th general election is making a comeback as the BN candidate for Rengit, while former Bukit Serampang assemblyman Ismail Mohamed and former Layang-Layang assemblyman Abd Mutalip Abd Rahim will contest in Bukit Kepong and Layang-Layang respectively.

Nomination for the state polls falls on Saturday (26 Feb), while polling is on 12 March.

Speaking to reporters later, Hasni said MCA had been asked to give the names of its candidates to BN before the nomination day.

“We have a target to field, for example, young women candidates, which we feel are very important in the state polls. MCA feels that it has to re-scrutinise the names of potential candidates,” he explained.

On the fact that there are no seats given to “friends of BN” parties to contest in the polls, he said they will, however, continue to work as a team.

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