Johor polls: Hasni hints he will defend Benut seat

PONTIAN: Caretaker Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (pic) has hinted that he will defend the Benut seat in the upcoming Johor election.

The Johor Umno chief, however, said that decision had yet to be finalised.

“If given the chance, I would like to contest in Benut again,” he told reporters after handing out Chinese New Year contributions to Benut constituents here Friday (Jan 28).

Hasni has been the incumbent for Benut since the 12th General Election (GE12) in 2008 and in GE14, he defeated Bersatu’s Zulkifly Tasrep and Mohd Firdaus Jaafar (PAS) with a majority of 4,447 votes.

On talk that Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari’s younger brother, Aziz Shari, 33, will be contesting in Benut as well, Hasni merely replied: “The more the merrier”.

Meanwhile, Hasni, who is also Johor Barisan Nasional chairman, said the coalition would field younger candidates to keep up with changes and current demands.

The coalition is currently in the process of identifying suitable candidates, he said.

“Umno and Barisan are not static, (we) keep pace with changes. These days, the people want younger candidates and new faces, and we will not ignore these calls for the sake of a stable Johor government,” he said.

On Puteri Wangsa assemblyman Mazlan Bujang’s decision to quit Bersatu, Hasni hoped Mazlan will continue to be active in politics.

“In the 24 months he (Mazlan) held the position of Johor Education, Information, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman, I feel he has understood the way Umno and Barisan work. I think Mazlan has seen for himself the understanding we have and (that has) made him confident to support Barisan, Umno and my leadership,” he said.

At the same event, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan also confirmed that he will be not contesting in the state election to enable him to focus on his parliamentary duties. – Bernama