Raub Umno division deputy chief says party members who are most loyal to Najib Razak want the seat returned to the party
RAUB: Although Umno has been wanting the Raub parliamentary seat since 1978, the party division will abide by whatever decision made by BN chairman and Prime Minister Najib Razak on the seat for the upcoming general election.
“The Raub parliament seat was held by Umno from 1957 to 1978. In 1978 the seat was swapped to enable (former Minister of International Trade and Industry) Rafidah Aziz to contest in Selayang. Raub was given on loan to MCA since 1978,” said Raub Umno deputy chief Abd Aziz Mat Kiram.
“Every year all 60 branches in Raub pass resolutions for the parliament seat. The issue is not resolved,” said Aziz, who is also Batu Talam state assemblyman during an exclusive interview with Berita Daily at the Raub Umno division office.
The question was raised as Berita Daily saw a blue banner in the Ulu Dong area that called for the return of the mixed rural seat to Umno.
The banner in Bahasa read: “Parlimen Raub Untuk Umno PRU14 P080 Kembalikan Hak Kami.” Translated it read: Raub parliament for Umno GE14 P080 Return Our Rights.”
MCA has named its vice president Chew Mei Fun as a candidate for the Raub parliamentary seat at the upcoming general election, and she has been slowly working her way in winning over voters in the constituency.
The call for Raub to be returned to Umno is based on several factors.
“Socio-politically it is more suitable for Umno to represent Raub since 54% voters are Malays. MCA lost the seat (which never happened before) in the 13th general election. Ariff Sabri won the seat for DAP because he is a Malay,” he said.
“MCA also lost badly in Tras. It is their seat but they didn’t perform,” he added.
Aziz also denied that DAP gained votes from the two Felda schemes in Lembah Krau and Tersang.
“We retained the votes but the votes which went to them in Tras was about 6,000.”
Tras is the sole state seat in Raub that MCA is contesting. The candidate for the seat however has not been named.
Aziz however dispelled fears of MCA losing out due to Umno wanting the semi urban parliament seat since the local division is ‘the most loyal supporters’ of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“We will abide by Najib’s decision. We are also the most loyal supporters of the prime minister. Raub is the first division that called for the sacking of Muhyiddin. We had invited him to officiate our division meeting,” said Aziz.
He said this in reference to former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin who is currently PPBM president.
Muhyiddin was dropped as deputy prime minister in July 2015 and sacked from Umno in June 2016 for not being in line with Najib.
Aziz also said that the local Umno division would assist its partner, MCA in the upcoming general election.
“We maintain the BN spirit to help component parties. We are delivering the votes from the Malay areas. Those supporting Umno will support BN candidates.”
As for Chinese voters, Aziz said that some of them have realised that their DAP representative was not performing.
“They realised after DAP won that no service have been provided. The reps don’t even show their face on the ground. They are insecure.”
The Umno leader also said that BN can regain the Raub parliament seat.
“I am sure we can regain the seat as long as the BN components stay united. Most of the programmes that we conduct are for mixed group of people.”
“We must also get a grip on the issues played up by the opposition,” he added.