ROMPIN: Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu admitted feeling nervous when surrounded by friends from Umno in their first joint ceramah to campaign for the Tioman state seat in the 15th General Election (GE15) yesterday.
He described it as a totally new experience after being told by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership on Tuesday to attend the ceramah last night to endorse the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Hussain in Tioman.
"Berdebar jugak (nervous)... this is new to me... I supported the decision by PH.
"(Before this) I was never surrounded by friends from Umno (on the same stage)," he said after his ceramah in Kuala Rompin which is under the Tioman state constituency here last night.
Mohamad was among the speakers at the ceramah which marked the first time BN and PH joined forces to campaign after the formation of the unity government.
Also present was Pahang Menteri Besar and state BN chairman Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Rompin Umno chief Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who is also the Pahang PH chairman.
When asked if there was 'resistance' within the Amanah camp following PH's decision to give way to BN in Tioman, he replied that some might feel it was unfair but that is normal and that it was a party decision.
"Until now there are no issues... grumblings are normal but it is a party decision and everyone has to comply. If there are those who are unhappy, it will be only temporary," he said.
On Nov 29, Amanah secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli, said PN would give way to BN in Tioman as a sign of cooperation for the unity government in Pahang and at the federal level.
In his speech earlier, Mohamad said the day when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took his oath of office, he had shared the same table with BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
"They asked me 'Bang Mat, we want to hear how you will give ceramah in front of Umno after 44 years of bashing us. I replied I do not know, where do I begin," he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Tioman will see a five-cornered contest between Johari, PH candidate Mohd Fadzli Mohd Ramly, PN's Idayu Hashim, Parti Pejuang Tab Air's Osman Bakar and independent candidate Sulaiman Bakar.
Polling for the Tioman state seat in GE15 was initially scheduled on Nov 19, but was postponed following the death of PN candidate Md Yunus Ramli.