Monday, October 18, 2010

- Education officer in race for Galas BN candidacy

GUA MUSANG (Oct 17, 2010): A government servant is among those shortlisted as potential Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the Nov 4 Galas by-election.

Gua Musang district education officer Muhammad Zahari Othman is among three names expected to be handed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the decision on who will be fielded against a PAS candidate.

If he accepts the nomination, the 51-year-old would have to relinquish his post to contest the seat which became vacant following the death of PAS’s Chek Hashim Sulaima on Sept 27.

The other names being considered are Gua Musang Umno secretary Abdul Aziz Yusof, 49, and Gua Musang Umno Youth vice-chief Zamzani Harun, 39.

According to sources, these names were mentioned by Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at a meeting with BN leaders here on Thursday.

Razaleigh, who is heading the BN campaign in Galas, had told BN leaders here that, ultimately, it is Najib as the Umno president and BN chairman, who will decide the candidate.

"But it is incumbent on local leaders to decide on the shortlist of the preferred choices," said a source.

Razaleigh, himself, was expected to be fielded as a candidate but it is learnt that the 73-year-old former finance minister did not put his name on the list.

"Ku Li told us that he is not keen to contest but he will be at the forefront of the campaign and we think that could be enough to win back Galas," said another party source.

In the 2008 general election, Chek Hashim beat Saufi Deraman of Umno by a 646-vote majority. There are 11,553 registered voters in Galas.

PAS is chosing its candidate through a vote by the state leadership. Both the BN and PAS candidates are expected to be announced by their parties on Sunday -- two days before nomination day. --