KUALA KANGSAR – The absence of the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid during the campaign for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-election, should not be made an issue by any party, including the opposition.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said it was not the first time a candidate had been absent during an election campaign in the country.
Khairy cited Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M.Manoharan, who contested in the 12th General Election in 2008, but did not campaign, as he was undergoing detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA), in Kamunting, Perak.
“Manoharan, who was under the ISA at the time, did not only contest, but won the state seat,” he said at the Kuala Kangsar Concerned Youth program here today.
Khairy, who is also the Minister of Youth and Sports, said Mastura’s absence during the Kuala Kangsar by-election campaign was due to her sitting for the ‘iddah’, a period to be observed by a woman after the death of her husband, and the decision was made after consultation with Perak Mufti, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria.
“The Perak Mufti said the law of ‘iddah’ was right, she is not allowed to leave the house, but not prohibited from contesting,” he said.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, announced Mastura, who is also former Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad’s widow, as the BN candidate, for the by-election.
Mastura, 55, via a video recording, said she was unable to join the campaign scheduled to begin on June 5, as she was under ‘iddah’ for four months and 10 days, as stipulated in Islamic law, following the death of her husband.
In addition, Khairy also urged all Umno Youth and BN members to come together and help Mastura win the by-election, in addition to increasing the vote majority.
“This victory is important for us to continue the development in Kuala Kangsar, and bring change, as per the intention of Wan Khair-il Anuar,” he said.
In the 13th General Election, Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar won with a majority of 1,082 votes against PAS’ Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah, and independent candidate Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim.
The Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-election will be held on June 18, following the death of Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar in a helicopter crash in Sebuyau, Sarawak, on May 5.