'It will be good if both PH and BN withdraw from race for Padang Serai,' says PN candidate

PADANG SERAI: Since Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional have yet to decide on which party should withdraw from the Padang Serai parliamentary election, Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Datuk Azman Nasrudin today called for both parties to make way for him.

In taking a jibe at his opponents, Azman said both parties should withdraw from the race since PH and BN both have different ideologies despite joining hands to form the federal government.

"Now both PH and BN are in the same government, so which party should withdraw from the race?

"It will be good if both candidates withdrew since both parties have different principle struggles, PH is like this, BN is like that... but in PN, our principles remain intact.

"I am confident that the electorate in Padang Serai are wise enough to know which party is capable of looking after their interests in Parliament," he told reporters at the PN election command centre in Sungai Seluang here today.

On Tuesday, PH candidate Dr Mohamad Sofee Razak had called on BN candidate Datuk C. Sivaraj to withdraw from the race.

Sofee made the call after Parti Amanah Negara, a component party of PH, announced it would give way to BN in the Tioman state seat election due to the coalitions' cooperation in the Pahang government and at the federal level.

However, in his response yesterday, Sivaraj reiterated his stand that it was Sofee who should withdraw from the race since the MIC central working committee member has been working in the constituency for the past three years.

In a related matter, Azman, who is also Lunas assemblyman, said his decision to abandon PKR over two years ago was a non-issue in the Padang Serai parliamentary election.

"It seems my opponents are out of issues. That is no longer an issue. I keep on repeating in my ceramah that PH struggles were no longer in line with my struggles and that was why I decided to be with PN.

"They should have used a stronger argument in their campaign which could relate better with the voters.

"I am confident that those who voted for me in 2018 realised the importance of supporting a party which is caring, clean and stable, looking after the interest of a multiracial community," he said.

The Padang Serai parliamentary election will see a six-cornered battle.

Azman is locking horns with Sivaraj (Barisan Nasional); Sofee (Pakatan Harapan); Hamzah Abdul Rahman (Pejuang); Mohd Bakri Hashim (Warisan), and an Independent candidate, Sreadnandha Rao.

The Padang Serai parliamentary seat was previously held by PH's M. Karupaiya when he secured a 8,813 vote-majority win, beating MCA candidate Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong and Mohammad Sobri Osman from Pas in the previous general election.

Karupaiya, 69, was nominated again by PH on Nov 5 to defend the seat. However, he died on Nov 16, two days after being admitted to Kulim Hospital due to a heart attack while campaigning.

Following his death, the Election Commission had decided to postpone the Padang Serai polls to Dec 7.

Padang Serai has 133,767 eligible voters, with 81,230 of the voters in Lunas state constituency while the remaining 52,546 voters in Merbau Pulas constituency.

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