GERIK: UMNO will have no problems facing a by-election in the Gerik parliamentary constituency, Perak Umno liaison chief Datuk Saarani Mohamad (pix) said.
He said Perak UMNO, including its Gerik division, had been preparing for the 15th general election for some time, and the same would apply for by-elections as well.
“Our (UMNO) work culture has always been about being ready for situations like these,” he said after attending the funeral prayer of Gerik MP and Gerik UMNO division chief Datuk Hasbullah Osman at Masjid Jamek here.
Hasbullah, 63, died from a heart attack at the Raub Hospital yesterday at about 7 pm.
The Gerik parliamentary constituency is located in Hulu Perak, and has two state constituencies, namely Temenggor and Pengkalan Hulu.
The late Hasbullah began contesting as a people’s representative in the 11th General Election (GE11) in 2004, when he won the Temenggor state seat against Mohd Aun Yob Abas of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) with a majority of 4,666 votes, and defended the seat in GE12 by defeating Moon Akau from PKR with a majority of 4,617 votes.
In GE13, he contested the Gerik Parliamentary seat and defeated Norhayati Kasim from PAS with a majority of 6,216 votes, and defended the seat in GE14 with a majority of 5,528 votes against PAS candidate Mohd Dahalan Ismail.
On Hasbullah’s passing, Saarani said he had lost a good friend whom he had forged a close relationship since their teaching days in the early 1980s.
“He taught the morning session while I taught the afternoon classes, and he used to visit me often at the teachers’ quarters,” he said.
The friendship continued throughout their political years, with the late Hasbullah going on to become Saarani’s deputy in Perak UMNO, he said. — Bernama