LANGKAWI, Feb 15 – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was still too early for the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) top leadership to announce whether BN would be contesting in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and Chempaka state seat by-elections.
He said although the BN leaders touched on the matter at the recent supreme council meeting, the discussion was general. “(At the meeting), although we listened to some views (on the matter), I think it is too early to state our stand,” he told reporters after attending a gathering with department heads and Langkawi Umno leaders, here, today.
Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman, said the Election Commission (EC) had meanwhile not made any announcement on both seats. The Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat is now vacant after its incumbent MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lost his eligibility to hold the post when the Federal Court on Feb 10, rejected his last appeal against his conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide.
The Chempaka state seat also fell vacant when its incumbent assemblyman and former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat died on Feb 12 from prostate cancer. Yesterday, Kelantan UMNO liaison chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed voiced his personal opinion that BN needed not contest in the Chempaka by-election and instead focus on the post-flood restoration efforts in the state. He said much work had to be done for the victims of the massive floods that hit Kelantan last December.