29 September, 2009

Local Hero Isa to run for Barisan

The Barisan Nasional will field former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad as its candidate in the Oct 11 Bagan Pinang by-election in Negeri Sembilan.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in announcing the decision on Tuesday, said Isa was chosen after a detailed study with the constituents showed that this is what the people of Bagan Pinang wanted.

“We have decided that this is what the people want.

“We are confident that he, with his qualifications and support from the local community, will do well for the Barisan in the by-election,” Muhyiddin said.

Muhyiddin said Isa’s selection as the candidate was made after much thought and scrutiny, with feedback from not only among senior Barisan leaders but also the grassroot supporters in Bagan Pinang.

“We wanted a dedicated leader and candidate who would be able to bring change to the constituency,” he said.

Muhyiddin said that Isa has contributed greatly to the local community and never stopped serving it despite challenges to him over the years.

Isa's selection however is sure to rile some feathers within the coalition.

Umno had suspended Isa, 59, from his post as party vice-president after its disciplinary committee found him guilty of money politics or vote-buying during the party polls.

Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and others have argued strongly for the party to choose a blemish-free candidate.

In his speech immediately after Muhyiddin, Isa said he would continue to serve the constituency as he had done for the past 30 years.

“Under the new (Umno) leadership, my semangat (spirit) to serve is stronger.

“God willing, with the support of the Barisan leadership, we will defend the seat and win it with a larger majority,” he said.

Meanwhile, anyone bringing up the Shah Alam cow's head incident during the Bagan Pinang election campaign will be detained immediately and could face charges of inciting racial tensions.

The warning was made by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk T. Murugiah, who said that it applied to Barisan Nasional and the opposition.

"We will assign officers to keep tabs on all ceramah and other activities during the campaign and they will alert the police immediately if the issue is raised."

Murugiah is the deputy minister in charge of the National Unity and Integration Department.

"We want a clean and fair campaign and to ensure no racial or religious issues are raised to incite the people."



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