THE Tanjung Piai by-election will be a major test for Pakatan Harapan, said Anthony Loke.
The DAP national organising secretary said PH components must do their best to defend the federal seat, which was won by the late Md Farid Md Rafik with a slim majority in the 14th general election last year.
“He (Farid) was a visionary leader and promoted messages of unity. In recognition of his contributions… we must mobilise the PH machinery, including that from Negri Sembilan, to defend Tg Piai,” Loke was quoted as saying by Bernama at DAP’s annual convention in Seremban today.
Present were the party’s secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, and Negri Sembilan PH chairman Aminuddin Harun.
DAP delegates and leaders earlier observed a minute’s silence in memory of Farid, who died of a heart attack yesterday, aged 42.
Farid, of Bersatu, was also a deputy minister in the Prime Minster’s Department.
In the last elections, he beat Barisan Nasional’s Wee Jeck Seng and PAS’ Nordin Othman to win Tg Piai by just 524 votes.
Loke’s call for PH to go all out for the impending by-election, whose date will be announced by the Election Commission soon, comes a week after PAS and BN lynchpin Umno inked a unity charter.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday said the party will discuss with its BN partners on the candidate to field in Tg Piai.
Going by the constituency’s breakdown by race – 57% of its constituents are Malays, Chinese (42%) and Indians (1%) – it is possible that the former ruling pact will name a candidate from Umno.
In the Cameron Highlands by-election earlier this year, BN went with an Orang Asli candidate instead of one from MIC, which turned out to be the right decision for the coalition.
Umno and PAS, at the time, had worked together to drum up support for Ramli Mohd Nor, setting the stage for cooperation in subsequent by-elections in Semenyih, Selangor, and Rantau, Negri Sembilan.