Bersatu’sTanjung Piai MP Md Farid Md Rafik died this morning at a Johor hospital.
In a short message posted on the PKR WhatsApp group, PKR Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil confirmed the news.
He said the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department died at Pontian Hospital about 5.30am.
A post by the administrator on Farid’s Facebook page said the cause of death was believed to be a heart attack.
Farid, a UK-trained anaesthesiologist, was 42.
Johor Bersatu secretary Mohd Solihan Badri said the body would be brought to Farid’s mother’s house in Serkat, Pontian after which it would be buried before Zohor prayers today.
Farid was deputy to P Waytha Moorthy who has the national unity and social wellbeing portfolio at the Prime Minister’s Department.
In the last general election, he defeated MCA two-term incumbent Wee Jee Seng with a slim majority of 524 votes. Farid bagged 21,255 votes against Wee’s 20,731. The other candidate was PAS’ Nordin Othman with 2,962 votes.
Tanjung Piai, which is in southwest Johor, is considered a marginal seat.
The constituency has 53,528 voters, with 57% Malays, 42% Chinese and Indians making up the rest.
Farid joined Bersatu in 2017 although his family’s political roots are traditionally Umno.
His mother, Norma Mohamed, is a former Tanjung Piai Umno Wanita chief. She, however, joined Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bersatu in 2016.
Farid was instrumental in setting up and expanding Bersatu chapter in Tanjung Piai, then seen largely as a BN stronghold.