BN Picks Pekan Umno’s Sharim for Chini By-Election

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Debunking speculation that the rural Pahang seat would see Najib Razak’s son make an electoral debut.

Pekan Umno division committee member Mohd Sharim Md Zain has been named as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for the Chini state by-election.

The decision was announced by Pahang BN chief Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail at the Pekan Umno hall today.

The event was broadcast on Najib’s Facebook page.

Najib is also MP and Umno chief of Pekan, which includes Chini among its four state seats.

It was previously speculated that Najib’s son, Mohd Nizar Najib, who is the Pekan Umno Youth chief, would contest.

Mohd Sharim, 41, a second-generation Felda settler, was selected mainly because he is a local and was well acquainted with the leadership of the late Chini assemblyman Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun.

The Chini by-election was called following the death of Abu Bakar on May 6 due to a heart attack.

Wan Rosdy said Pahang BN had been thorough in the selection process to pick someone who fulfilled the criteria set by the top leadership.

“Besides having worked closely with the late Abu Bakar, Mohd Sharim is a local who knows the community in the Chini constituency and is suitable to be the people’s choice,” he added.

Even though the Chini by-election will be held during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period, the BN machinery is ready for the battle, said Wan Rosdy, who is also the Pahang Mentri Besar.

Mohd Sharim thanked the BN leadership for placing its trust in him to be the candidate.

The Election Commission set June 20 for nominations and July 4 for polling.

The by-election will be the first to be held since the imposition of the movement control order on March 18 to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Chini seat is one of the four state constituencies under the Pekan parliamentary constituency.

In the 14th general election, Abu Bakar retained the Chini seat with a 4,622-vote majority, beating PAS candidate Mohd Fadhil Noor Abdul Karim, who received 5,405 votes, and Mohamad Razali Ithnain from PKR, who obtained only 1,065 votes.

Chini has 20,900 registered voters, comprising 20,972 regular voters and 18 early voters.

Those aged 40 and below make up 56 per cent of the voters.