TANJUNG MALIM • The new party of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is entering an electoral fight – unofficially – for the first time in Perak, local media reported yesterday.
The by-election in Slim for a seat in the state assembly will witness a three-cornered fight between an Umno candidate and two independents.
One of the independents, Islamic lawyer Amir Khusyairi Mohd Tanusi, is representing Tun Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Fighters of the Nation Party).
But as Pejuang is not officially registered, Mr Amir, 38, is contesting as an independent.
The Umno candidate is contesting under the banner of the Barisan Nasional coalition. He is Tanjung Malim’s Umno division chairman Mohd Zaidi Aziz, 43.
The third candidate is former teacher S. Santharasekaran, 45.
The by-election will be only the second time that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, will campaign together with former political foes Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS). All three parties are now part of the five-month-old Perikatan Nasional alliance.
The three parties worked together in the recent Chini by-election, where Umno managed to defend its seat.
Polling is on Aug 29 after a 14-day campaigning period.
The state seat fell vacant after Datuk Khusairi Abdul Talib, 59, a four-term incumbent assemblyman, died of a heart attack on July 15. He was from Umno.
In the May 2018 General Election, Mr Khusairi won with a 2,183-vote majority against a candidate from PAS and another who contested under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat flag.
The Slim state ward is part of the Tanjung Malim federal constituency. The Slim seat has 23,094 registered voters, comprising mostly Malays (75 per cent), Indians (13 per cent), Chinese (10 per cent) and others (2 per cent), Malaysiakini reported.