UMNO will discuss with its partners in Barisan Nasional who will contest the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat by-election following the death of the MP Dr Md Farid Md Rafik.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this in answer to reporters at the launch of the Sabah Umno convention at the state party headquarters today.
He declined to say more.
Tanjung Piai MP Farid Md Rafik who was deputy to the de facto minister of national unity and social wellbeing died of a heart attack this morning in the Pontian Hospital.
The Election Commission is expected to declare the federal seat vacant soon.
Tg Piai is traditionally an MCA seat. It is unclear whether Umno or its new electoral ally PAS will seek to change that.
In the last general election, Farid beat MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng, who had held the Johor parliamentary seat for two terms, by a narrow 524 votes.
The other contender for the seat, Nordin Othman of PAS, polled 2,962 votes.
The combined votes of the PAS and BN candidates would have seen to the defeat of the Pakatan Harapan candidate.
The constituency has 53,528 voters, 57% of which are Malay, 42% Chinese and the remainder Indian.
In the Cameron Highlands by-election earlier this year, Barisan Nasional component MIC was compelled to make way for an Orang Asli candidate as the BN leadership felt a candidate from the community stood a better chance of winning the seat – which turned out to be correct.
Umno and PAS had worked together unofficially to drum up support for the candidate , setting the stage for future cooperation in state by-elections in Semenyih in Selangor and Rantau in Negri Sembilan.
Last weekend Umno and the Islamist party signed a charter to cooperate for the unity of the Muslim community.
Zahid today cited health reasons for the absence of former Sabah Umno liaison chief Musa Aman at the convention.
He expressed gratitude to Musa for his commitment to Umno.
Musa, who is the Sibuga assemblyman, holds Umno’s only seat in the state assembly.
Dr Mahathir last met late Tg Piai MP during Friday prayers, says officer
DR Mahathir Mohamad last saw Md Farid Md Rafik during Friday prayers in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said an aide to the prime minister.
“They prayed together at Masjid Istana Negara yesterday, and as the prime minister is very saddened by the news of his death,” said an officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity today.
The officer said Dr Mahathir will go to Pontian to attend Farid’s burial later this afternoon.
The prime minister had launched the Malaysia Cooperative Societies Commission’s 100th year countdown in Putrajaya this morning, but declined to stay for the press conference as he had to rush to Johor.
Farid, who was Tanjung Piai MP and deputy minister for national unity and social wellbeing, died this morning after suffering a heart attack at 42.
Farid’s body will be brought to Serkat in Pontian for burial before Zohor prayers (about 1.30pm).