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BN candidate Datuk Lokman Noor Adam (left) believes PKR’s move in putting up Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni - a social activist and religious teacher - as their candidate reflects their fear over a possible loss of votes. NSTP/ROSLIN MAT TAHIR

SHAH ALAM: Barisan Nasional has labeled PKR’s move in fielding a ‘religious candidate’ in the Sungai Kandis by-election as a means to temper the Malay and Muslim community’s displeasure over issues concerning Islam and the Bumiputera.

BN candidate Datuk Lokman Noor Adam believes PKR’s move in putting up Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni - a social activist and religious teacher - as their candidate reflects their fear over a possible loss of votes.

“Do not be fooled. This is a strategy to win votes from Muslims in Sungai Kandis. But the fact remains that the fate of tahfiz centres and Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) is still uncertain.

“The same applies to issues relating to the royal institution. The people nowadays seem to have the audacity to ridicule the Yang Dipertuan Agong,” Lokman said when met at BN’s by-election command centre.

Lokman, who is also Umno supreme council member, said religious schools and registered tahfiz institutions received a host of benefits during the BN administration.

“The BN government allocated tens of millions of ringgit towards the maintenance of religious schools. The National Tahfiz Education Policy was also mooted to improve the quality of students.

“The PKR candidate is aware of this. It is different from the current government, which is very lax in upholding the Islamic institution.”

The Sungai Kandis by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei, 50, on July 2 due to lymphoma cancer.

The three-cornered fight also involves an Independent candidate Murthy Krishnasamy.

In the 14th General Election, the Sungai Kandis seat saw a four-cornered fight, with Shuhaimi defending his seat against BN’s Datuk Kamaruzzaman Johari, Pas’s Mohd Yusof Abdullah and Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hanafiah Husin.

Shuhaimi won with 23,998 votes with a majority of 12,480, defeating Kamaruzzaman who obtained 11,518 votes.

Mohd Yusof received 7,573 votes, while Hanafiah got 76 votes.

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