Bagan Pinang By-Election Strong support for ex-MB

(NST) PORT DICKSON: Despite objections from certain quarters, including from within Umno, Teluk Kemang Umno division chief Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad continues to receive strong support to contest the Bagan Pinang state by-election.

Voicing support for Isa was Seremban Umno division chief Datuk Ishak Ismail, who said Isa would be Umno's best bet for a landslide victory as he was an exemplary leader who had since reformed following his earlier suspension.

They believe that the former menteri besar is a popular figure with the non-Malays as well because he has been serving the Teluk Kemang community for a long time.

"Even when he was suspended for his involvement in money politics, he did not raise any objection nor counter the allegations against him. He continued serving the community and did not let the suspension get the better of him. That is Isa; he is always focused," Ishak said.


Isa served a three-year suspension after the party's disciplinary board found him guilty on six counts of vote-buying and political corruption during the party elections in 2004.

He was originally suspended for six years or two terms but served a reduced penalty after an appeal.

"I would be greatly disappointed if Isa is not picked, bearing in mind that I was once his strongest opponent. He has always placed the party above self and these are the kind of leaders we need," Ishak added.

He said the party leadership should pay heed to what the grassroots wanted as they were constantly in touch with the locals and knew their likes and dislikes.

Jempol Umno division chief Datuk Lilah Yassin agreed with Ishak, saying that Isa had struck a personal chord with the Bagan Pinang folk during his long political career.

"He began his political career here and has been serving the Teluk Kemang community in the same service centre for the 22 years when he was menteri besar.

"The people know him very well because he lives there with his family and he has many relatives and friends."

Lilah also said Isa had an advantage as he was a local in the constituency and voters in Bagan Pinang were in favour of Isa as the Barisan Nasional candidate.

Nomination for the Bagan Pinang by-election has been fixed for Oct 3 and polling for Oct 11.

The seat fell vacant after the death of BN's Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.