Penanti decision has to wait, says Muhyiddin

(Bernama) – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Umno has not made any decision yet whether to contest the Penanti state by-election in Penang on May 31.

Muhyiddin, who is Umno deputy president, said the Umno political bureau which met in Putrajaya today did not discuss the issue. "We discussed many things but not that issue. We have not decided anything," Muhyiddin, who is the education minister, told reporters after visiting the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said that the Umno supreme council would leave it to the bureau to decide whether to participate in the by-election. The seat fell vacant following the resignation of incumbent assemblyman Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

On reports that Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee M Manoharan wanted to quit the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor, Muhyiddin said democracy should not be abused.

"The people had made their choice during the election, and now is the time to work for them. However, of late, there seems to be a trend in which certain parties are encouraging resignations without rhyme or reason.

"I don't know what kind of party it is which claims to be fair to the people but acts to their detriment. The winning candidate should serve the people," he said.

On Manoharan's claims that being an ISA detainee it would be difficult for him to serve, Muhyiddin said Manoharan had until the next election to serve the people.

Asked about reports in blogs claiming that MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was contemplating to join the opposition, Muhyiddin said he found the matter difficult to believe.

Saying that Dr Chua is his good friend, Muhyiddin said he met the MCA deputy president last week but there was no mention about him leaving the MCA.

"I am confident that he is still with the MCA. Of course, the opposition parties will do all they can to influence others to support them but that is their problem," he said. Muhyiddin said he was confident that top Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders who had fought for the national coalition for so long would know the basis of their struggle. "It is not easy for them to shift towards the opposition," he said.