TEMERLOH – The camaraderie of childhood friends between candidates and the local community will be UMNO Temerloh’s strength to recapture the Temerloh parliamentary constituency and two state seats in the 14th General Election. (GE13).
Temerloh UMNO Division chief Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said local-born candidates would be the determining factor for the party’s win, being the constituents becoming fed-up with the antics of “import” elected representatives,.
“The voters want local candidates … those who can be met at any time, or if not, have families and their homes are in Temerloh which we can head to if there are urgent matters. This is the role of childhood friends.
“Many of my friends were born in Temerloh, we swam in the river together, went fishing together and then went to further our studies, but we still return to Temerloh to serve because to us this is our world.
“The voters want those who know Temerloh like the backs of their hands, know who the old timers are here, know what’s going on and what will happen such as floods and how to overcome them.
“They have been through a tough five years with outsiders as their elected representatives and do not be surprised if there are still people in Temerloh who do not know their elected representatives because they are seldom in the constituency,” he told Bernama recently.
Mohd Sharkar said nevertheless, Temerloh UMNO would not let the weaknesses of the opposition to make them complacent , but would continue to work hard like they would face a strong opponent to ensure a comfortable win.
In the last general election, the Temerloh parliamentary seat was won by PAS through Nasrudin Hassan, while Barisan Nasional (BN) won only one of the three state seats, namely Lanchang through Mohd Sharkar.
The other two, namely, Mentakab was won by Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puri from DAP and Kuala Semantan was won by Syed Hamid Syed Mohamed, who was the former Pahang Pas Commissioner who later joined Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) on Sept 9, 2015.
Mohd Sharkar said the journey to ensure a 4-0 victory in the Temerloh parliamentary constituency (P088) had long been made to ensure the sad episode in 2013 would not be repeated.
He said Temerloh UMNO went through a massive change in leadership after the 2013 party election which saw the defeat of his then deputy, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. who failed to defend the parliamentary seat.
“After that, we set up three co-ordinators to oversee the lost seats, namely Mentakab under Datuk Mohammad Anuar Mohd Yunus (vice chief), Semantan (Datuk Nor Azmi Mat Ludin, Deputy Head) while I look after Lanchang and Temerloh,” he told Bernama, recently.
He said various welfare programmes were implemented for the benefit of the constituents, regardless of their race and religion.
Mohd Sharkar, who is also Chairman of the Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee, said the programmes included rebuilding of houses for victims affected by disaster, such as floods, fire or storm.
The Temerloh UMNO Division also, he said always organised education programmes to make the young people realised that only with education could they change their live for the better.
On the possibility of a three-cornered fight in Temerloh – with PAS and PAN showing interest – which is said to be of great advantage to BN, he said would not make UMNO lackadaisical.
“We work as if we are going to face a one-on-one fight, not a loss to work hard because eventually all will return to the people … we regain the hearts of the people so they are confident with BN who have done a lot of programmes for them,” he said.
Mohd Sharkar said that UMNO was becoming more aggressive in using the social media to connect with voters, especially the young voters and the results were very positive based on the reactions received.
He hoped the people of Temerloh would become more matured in politics and would evaluate the pros and cons of the vote they would make.
As for UMNO members, he said, they should accept whoever that would be nominated by the party to be the candidates.
“We have identified 20 names as suitable candidates but there are only four vacancies. Of course, there are reasonable considerations, and if not selected, we should be working to win, this is for the party and the people, ” he said.
Mohd Sharkar said the promise by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’that he would jump into a fish pond in Kampung Chempaka, Lanchang, if BN were to win all the seats in Temerloh had helped to boost the spirit of UMNO members and supporters to work harder.
The prime minister made the promises during a gathering in the village recently. – BERNAMA