Johor Umno will support whoever Barisan Nasional fields as the candidate in the Tanjung Piai by-election, says its chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
He said what mattered most was for Barisan to concentrate on choosing a “winnable” candidate.
“From the feedback that I have gathered, Umno will fully support any candidate chosen by the Barisan’s top leadership.
“I have yet to receive any demand from anyone demanding to become our candidate and I expect it to remain that way, ” he said yesterday.
MCA, which had held the seat since 2003 until last year, said it was ready to wrest it from Pakatan Harapan in the by-election.
MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said candidates from the party had always contested the seat and it would be unthinkable if MCA did not contest it again.
Hasni who is also the state Barisan chairman said they would hold a meeting once the relevant dates on the by-election were decided.
“We will do our best to wrest the seat. If we look at Barisan’s big victories such as in the Cameron Highland and Rantau by-elections, the advantage is on the candidates, no matter if the person is a local or even a heavyweight.
“It will all come down to the Barisan candidate as we do not see the split in Johor’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as an advantage to us, ” he added.
Hasni also said the by-election would be the first major test for Umno-PAS unity pact.
“This is a semi-rural mixed seat, where the advantage of one particular race does not guarantee victory as the candidate must get the full support and cooperation from all races, ” he said.
The seat has more than 53,000 voters comprising 56.8% Malays, 41.5% Chinese and 1% Indians.