SEREMBAN, Sept 10 — UMNO Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said today that he has yet to make a decision regarding which parliamentary seat he will contest in the 15th General Election (GE15).

Mohamad, who is more popularly known as Tok Mat, said the party’s priority at the moment was to strengthen and prepare the machinery in all divisions first before deciding on the issue of seat distribution and candidates.

In fact, he said the matter would be discussed with the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties soon after engagement sessions with the Sabah BN machinery.

“I haven’t spoken about the (parliamentary) seat (I will contest) yet, I just talked about the preparations of the machinery. I never said I want to contest anywhere, I just said it’s time for me to contest a parliamentary seat.

“Which seat is up to me, I am the Deputy President (of UMNO), I can place myself anywhere I want. I didn’t say I want to contest in Rembau, people saying that is up to them, it is not my concern,” he told reporters after officiating a Safety and Health Mini Expo in conjunction with the Malaysia Day Celebration here today.

On Sept 4, Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also Health Minister, was reported as saying that he would not be defending the Rembau seat in GE15 to make way for Mohamad who intends to run for the seat.

In the meantime, Mohamad, who is also the assemblyman for Rantau, one of four state seats in the Rembau constituency, said that UMNO had asked its BN components to state the constituencies their respective candidates would like to be placed.

“There are some seats that need to see changes, that’s normal, we make changes because there are some places where we didn’t win in three or four GEs, so we need to look at the strategy as well. In a ‘war’, the strategy is important to make sure we win,” he said, adding that it must also be taken into account old and young candidates to continue rejuvenating the party.

Mohamad, who is also UMNO election director, said the level of preparedness of the machinery all around was currently in good condition and that there are a few more things that need to be strengthened before facing GE15.

On other matters, Mohamad said he was not aware of a proposal to hold discussions with PAS regarding 27 critical seats ahead of the upcoming GE15.

“I don’t know there are 27 seats that need special attention but what I am doing now is that I go to each state to identify and see the readiness of the machinery for GE15 which can be held at any time.

Before this, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a statement had said that his party was open to holding discussions with UMNO regarding the 27 critical seats which were won by Pakatan Harapan in GE14.


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