Pakatan undecided over Negeri MB candidate

While the state PKR chief, Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Baharin Abbas was touted to take the MB post, he says he has not been given “any hint” to contest in a state seat.

Leven Woon, FMT

Negeri Sembilan Pakatan Rakyat has not made up its mind on the menteri besar candidate should it take over the state in the next polls.

The state opposition pact, having won 15 out of 36 seats in the 2008 general election, is a serious contender to Barisan Nasional as it only needs another four seats to form the state government.

Various Pakatan Rakyat leaders such as DAP parliamentary chief Lim Kit Siang have expressed confidence that the Minangkabau state would fall into the hands of the opposition in the next polls.

But notwithstanding the grand plan, the coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP have yet to discuss or outline the choice of menteri besar should they come into power.

The state PKR chief and Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Baharin Abbas, who was touted by the media to be a MB candidate, denied that he plans to contest a state seat to clinch the state top executive post.

“There are always rumours,” he told FMT. “No one has asked me to start working in any state seat, I personally have not been given the hint to work in any state seat.”

Asked whether he is interested in the post, Kamarul said he was contented with the Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat.

“I am not in a position to ask for anything more. I got one seat that I have to defend,” he said.

He said the state Pakatan has yet to discuss about the MB candidate because none of the coalition parties have its candidate list finalised by their respective national leaders at the moment.

Kamarul is widely seen as a qualified MB material due to his seniority as the former PKR secretary-general and his corporate background.

Besides, the state constitution requires a Malay Muslim to be the MB, thus eliminating DAP’s 11 assemblypersons who are all non-Muslims and providing the second largest opposition party, PKR, a chance to get the post.

PKR won four seats in 2008 while PAS has only one.

DAP is expected to maintain its status quo in the coming polls by contesting 11 seats, while PKR will contest 13 and 12 seats.

Sultan’s decision

When asked about the MB candidate, Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner Mohd Taufek Abdul Gani said Pakatan has never discussed about the matter.

He also said Kamarul was touted to be MB because he was always given the chance to chair the state Pakatan press conferences or meetings in respect of his seniority.

He also said Pakatan should focus on winning the state first.