BENTONG: The Pelangai state by-election is a battleground that Barisan Nasional (BN) needs to win to build the coalition's confidence for the 16th General Election (GE16), said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said BN's win in Pelangai will help raise the morale of members, thus strengthening the party after its dismal performance in the last GE.
"Make this by-election our resurgence. We cannot afford to be comfortable, the machinery has to work hard to win because we are not strong yet having 'drowned' in GE15.
"Although GE16 is still a long way, this (Pelangai by-election) serves as a start for us to prepare for the real battle. Still, the victory cannot be used to gauge our ability and strength because we are still in the phase of ensuring the survival of the party,
"We are not yet strong and we still need political partners," he told reporters after a "Sembang Santai BN" programme at Felda Chemomoi here last night (Sept 27).
Also present were Pahang Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and the BN candidate for the Pelangai by-election Datuk Amizar Abu Adam.
Mohamad said Umno can only reassess the party's strength after GE16 to be held in May 2027 at the latest.
"At the moment, we are focused on winning in any by-election, including this one in Pelangai and I am confident that we can win, and even get a larger majority than in the last GE15," he added.
The Pelangai by-election is held following the death of incumbent assemblyman Datuk Seri Johari Harun, 53, in a plane crash in Shah Alam, Selangor, last Aug 17.
It will be a three-cornered fight for the seat between Amizar, Kasim Samat of Perikatan Nasional and an Independent candidate Haslihelmy DM Zulhasni.
Polling for the by-election is on Oct 7.
Meanwhile, when asked about Umno veteran Abdul Rahman Bakar's call for an immediate overhaul of the party's leadership in Terengganu after losing badly in GE15 and in the state elections recently, Mohamad said the matter would be discussed by the party after the Pelangai by-election.-- BERNAMA