|Terengganu BN Names 15 New Faces, Drops Giant Killer Abdul Rahman Bakar
Terengganu Puteri Umno chief Senator Nordiana Datuk Shafie
KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu Barisan Nasional (BN) Wednesday announced its candidates for the March 8 general election, naming 15 new faces and dropping among others Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar -- the giant killer who toppled PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the Marang parliamentary constituency in the 2004 general election.
One of the new faces is a woman, Terengganu Puteri Umno chief Senator Nordiana Datuk Shafie.
Twelve of the new faces will contest state seats and three, parliamentary seats,
Terengganu BN chairman and menteri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said when releasing the list of candidates at his residence, Seri Iman, here.
Terengganu has eight parliamentary seats and 32 state seats.
Also dropped are incumbent Hulu Terengganu MP Datuk Tengku Putera Tengku Awang, who is the state Umno liaison committee deputy chairman, and incumbent Dungun MP Datuk Rosli Mat Hassan.
Idris said the candidates were academically highly qualified as many were degree holders and they comprised religious scholars, corporate figures, and former teachers and administrators, and could help realise the party's desire to garner 66 per cent of the popular vote.
One of the three new faces to contest a parliamentary seat is the political secretary to the menteri besar, Datuk Dr Ahmad Ramzi Mohamad Zubir, who will contest in Marang, taking over from Abdul Rahman.
A former employee of the Terengganu Tengah Development Authority (Ketengah), Matulidi Jusoh, will contest in Dungun in place of Rosli, the Dungun Umno Division chairman who has been dropped.
The third new face to contest a parliamentary seat is Mohd Nor Othman. He will be fielded in Hulu Terengganu where the incumbent MP Tengku Putera has been dropped.
Besides Nordiana, who will replace Datuk Che Mat Jusoh in Batu Buruk, the 10 other new faces contesting state seats include Wan Abdul Hakim Wan Mokhtar, the son of former Terengganu menteri besar Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar Ahmad, who will replace Wan Ahmad Nizam Wan Abdul Hamid in Air Putih. Marang Umno Division Youth chief Razali Idris replaces Datuk Tengku Zainudin Tengku Zahid in Rhu Rendang; Radilah Abd Wahab replaces Datuk Abu Bakar Ali in Kemasik; former Farmers Organisation Authority (FOA) director Rosli Harun replaces Ahmad Kamal Abdullah in Sura.
Bukit Payung Youth Officer Zaidi Muda replaces former chairman of the Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology, and Human Resources Committee Datuk Dr Latiff Awang in Bukit Payung; Othman Awang replaces Hamzah Mohamed Zain, who lost to PAS candidate Wahid Endut in the 2004 general election, in Wakaf Mempelam.
Kuala Nerus Umno Youth vice-chief Razif Abdul Rahman replaces Mohd Shapian Ali in Seberang Takir; former teacher Tuan Arif Sahibu Fadilah Tuan Ahmad takes over from Datuk Nasir Ibrahim Fikri in Bukit Tunggal. Nasir will contest the Kuala Nerus parliamentary seat.
Setiu Umno Youth vice-chief Abdul Halim Yusof replaces incumbent Permaisuri state assemblyman Datuk Md Jidin Shafie who will contest the Setiu parliamentary seat while A. Rahman Mokhtar, a doctor in private practice, will contest in Kuala Besut.
Besut Umno information chief Muhammad Pehimi Yusof will contest in Kota Putera in place of incumbent Wan Mohd Wan Hassan, who is the chairman of the state Community Development and Women's Affairs Committee.
Incumbents have been retained to contest the remaining three parliamentary seats, with Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek to be fielded in Kemaman; Datuk Razali Ismail in Kuala Terengganu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdullah Md Zin in Besut.
Idris said incumbents would also contest the remaining 20 state seats. They are Idris himself (in Jertih); state Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Said (Kijal); state Industrial Development and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Mohamed Awang Tera (Chukai); state Culture, Youth and Sports, and NGOs Committee chairman Datuk Din Adam (Bukit Besi); Za'abar Mohd Adib (Rantau Abang).
Zakaria Ariffin (Paka); Rozi Mamat (Telemong); Wan Sagar Wan Embong (Manir); Mohd Zawawi Ismail (Kuala Berang); state Islam Hadhari Development and Welfare Committee chairman Datuk Rosol Wahid (Ajil); Alias Abdullah (Alur Limbat); Yahaya Khatib Mohamad (Pengkalan Berangan); state Health, Unity, Consumer Affairs and Environment Committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw (Bandar); state Infrastructure Development, Public Amenities and Communication Committee chairman Datuk Wan Hisham Wan Salleh (Ladang).
Muhammad Ramli Nuh (Tepoh); state Entrepreneur Development, Small and Medium Industries, and Petty Traders Comittee chairman Datuk Abdul Rahin Mohd Said (Teluk Pasu); Ramlan Ali (Jabi); Asha'ari Idris (Langkap); Khazan Che Mat (Batu Rakit) and Nawi Mohamad (Hulu Besut).
At the news conference, Idris said: "The choice of candidates is for the good of the constituencies they will represent as well as for the good of the state and country. I do not have the right to comment on the choice of candidates. The prime minister had the final say and I respect the decision that was arrived at along with the BN deputy chairman (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) and BN secretary-general (Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad)."
He said the selection of many academically highly qualified young people from various fields in Umno was a move to rejuvenate the party.
Asked whether the selection of the new candidates would invite misunderstanding at the Umno divisional level, Idris said it was normal to expect "minor protests".
"This shows that they have endeared themselves to their leaders. I have announced the names of candidates early so that any misunderstanding can be ironed out before nomination (on Sunday) and the election machinery can function normally," he said.
Thanking everyone for their service as elected representatives, Idris advised those who were not selected to contest to continue with the party's struggle.