Rantau by-election no walk in the park, says Mohamad

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REMBAU (March 29): Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan thinks his bid to retain the Rantau State seat for a fourth term will be no walk in the park.

“I have to be extra careful and work hard because I am facing a Government party,” the UMNO deputy president said in reference to the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition of Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah.

Nomination for the Rantau state by-election is tomorrow, and polling on April 13.

The by-election has been necessitated by the Federal Court dismissal of an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the Nov 16 Seremban Election Court decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void.

In GE14, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat for Barisan Nasional (BN) after Dr Streram, an anaesthetist, the potential Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate, was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the EC.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohamad referred to a statement by DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook that the Rantau by-election will be the mother of all by-elections.

Mohamad also said that UMNO will continue with its cooperation with PAS as it had done in the Semenyih State by-election.

The former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar claimed that certain quarters are trying to place bets on the outcome of the by-election and he advised these people to stop doing so lest it influenced the voters and eventually the result.

He said, however, that he will not lodge a police report on the matter.

The Rantau constituency has 29,926 registered electors, comprising 20,804 ordinary voters, 118 early voters and four absentee voters.

The Rantau by-election is the seventh since GE14. By-elections have been held for the Sungai Kandis State seat (Aug 4 last year); Balakong and Seri Setia State seats (Sept 8 last year); Port Dickson Parliamentary seat (Oct 13 last year); Cameron Highlands Parliamentary seat (Jan 26) and Semenyih State seat (March 2).