Malaysia elections: Fight for the Johor Baru parliamentary seat heats up

JOHOR BARU - The much touted battle of the Tan Sri's for the Johor Baru parliamentary seat is expected to take place with incumbent Tan Sri Shahrir Samad squaring off with former army chief Jen Tan Sri Md Hashim Hussein.

The latter is the likely PKR candidate for the seat.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to make announcements about Pakatan Rakyat's candidates during his visit here today, including Md Hashim's candidacy in Johor Baru.

The general had been coy about being the candidate for the seat, saying he was never told officially that he would be selected.

The general met up with PKR leaders from the Johor Baru division for meetings and a get-to-know session yesterday.

Shahrir, who has contested the seat five times since 1978, was unperturbed that PKR was expected to field the former general in his constituency.

"I have been contesting here for many years and the people know the service that I provide. I leave it to them to judge my work," he said, adding that he was willing to face any candidate, whether "big or small", from the Opposition.

Shahrir said he was surprised that Md Hashim would be the candidate since he had assumed it would be Johor Baru PKR chief Tan Poh Lai.

Md Hashim, who could not be reached for comments despite repeated efforts, had previously told The Star that he did not mind attending ceramah to help Pakatan but to be named a candidate would be a heavy responsibility.

"However I have been trusted with heavy responsibilities during my days in the armed forces, when I was posted to Bosnia and also Pakistan," he said.

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