GEORGE TOWN – The Barisan Nasional is to field a mix of old and new faces in Penang in the 14th general election, and has named Permatang Pauh UMNO Division chief Datuk Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said, a new face, as its candidate for the PKR stronghold of Permatang Pauh.
Mohd Zaidi, 49, is expected to face PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar who has been mentioned as the likely candidate for the hot seat.
Penang BN is contesting all the 13 parliamentary and 40 state seats in the state. UMNO is contesting in five parliamentary and 15 state seats; Gerakan, four parliamentary and 13 state seats; MCA, four parliamentary and 10 state seats and MIC, two state seats.
Penang BN secretary Omar Faudza (rpt) Faudza, in announcing the names of the candidates here today, said 60 per cent of the candidates were new faces and seven of them were below 40. The youngest candidate is a 32-year-old former teacher Koo Pei Chee who will be fielded in the Batu Lancang state constituency.
Three UMNO leaders Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya and Datuk Shabudin Yahaya – are defending their respective parliamentary seats of Kepala Batas, Balik Pulau and Tasek Gelugor.
The Penang BN new faces comprise the two candidates from MIC, namely J. Dhinagaran (Bagan Dalam state seat) and M. Suresh (Perai state seat), while the other new faces are eight from Gerakan, 10 from MCA and eight from UMNO.
The eight from Gerakan are Hartini Tan Abdullah (Bukit Tambun state seat), Kiew Hen Chong (Jawi state seat), Ooi Zhi Yi (Kebun Bunga state seat), H’ng Khoon Leng (Padang Kota state seat), Koo Pei Chee (Batu Lancang state seat), Tan Kah Leong (Ayer Itam state seat), Baljit Singh (Jelutong parliamentary seat) and Andy Yong Kim Seng (Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat).
The 10 MCA new faces are Lee Beng Seng who will face DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in the Bagan parliamentary seat, Lim Hai Song (Sungai Puyu state seat), Ang Chor Keong (Bagan Jermal state seat), Goh Swee Gim (Berapit state seat), Kuan Hin Yeep (Bagan Lalang state seat), Lim Swee Bok (Pengkalan Kota state seat), Tan Hing Teik (Komtar state seat), Khoo Kay Teong (Seri Delima state seat), Wong Chin Chong (Paya Terubong state seat) and Chuah Seng Guan (Bayan Baru parliamentary seat).
The other new faces from UMNO are Nor Hafizah Othman (Permatang Berangan state seat) who will face Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar of PPBM, Abu Bakar Sidekh Zainul Abidin (Seberang Jaya state seat), Mohamad Sani Bakar (Sungai Bakap state seat), Laikat Ali Mohamed Ali (Batu Maung state seat) and Rusli Hashim (Bayan Lepas state seat).
Suhaimi Sabudin, who was the BN candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election in 2015, is to be fielded in the Penanti state seat while Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow will face Zairul Khir Johari of DAP in the Tanjong Bunga state seat.
Penang UMNO Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, Penang legislative assembly opposition leader Datuk Jahara Abdul Hamid and former Bayan Lepas assemblyman Nordin Ahmad are not seeking re-election.
Zainal Abidin, who was present at the announcement, had indicated his desire not to seek re-election in the Nibong Tebal parliamentary seat which will now be contested by new face Shaik Hussein Mydin, 46. Jahara’s former state seat of Teluk Air Tawar will also have a new face fielded, namely Zamri Che Ros, 49.
Teng, speaking at the event, said the Penang BN recorded its gratitude and appreciation to all the MPs and state assemblymen in the previous parliament and state legislative assembly who chose not to seek re-election
He said all BN candidates should strive to win and defend Putrajaya for the BN.
“Set aside all issues and feelings of dissatisfaction for it is more important to have a winning mentality, both at the federal and state levels,” he said.
In the last general election, in 2013, DAP won seven of the 13 parliamentary seats in Penang, while BN-UMNO won three and PKR also won three. As for the 40 state seats, DAP won 19; BN-UMNO, 10; PKR, 10 and PAS, one. – BERNAMA