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Tipped as MB candidate, BN's Md Othman faces smear campaign in Kukup.

Barisan Nasional's (BN) Datuk Md Othman Yusof has faced an unexpected smear campaign since yesterday, not because of his candidacy for the Kukup state seat but because he was rumoured to be the coalition's Johor mentri besar (MB) candidate.

Yesterday, several flyers were seen scattered along Jalan Johor and Jalan Kukup in the Tanjung Piai area of Kukup, asking voters to be aware of Md Othman's reputation and warning against his attempt to allegedly 'pawn Johor lands away'.

The flyers not only attacked the 60-year-old executive director of Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the master developer of the controversial Forest City project, but also the looks of his daughter.

Earlier today, there was also an emailed poison pen letter that sought to discredit Md Othman as someone with vested interest if he becomes the Johor mentri besar, despite him confirming that he will resign from his corporate position if he wins Kukup.

A Tanjung Piai BN party source, who is also part of Md Othman's campaign team, has declined to reveal the originating source of the smear campaign, but told Malay Mail he believed it was from 'dissatisfied factions' known to the party.

The source also claimed the allegations against Md Othman were baseless, and their campaign for the candidate and party will continue without a hitch.

'It's not a big issue, but we have identified the smear campaign in the form of a poison pen letter and also flyers that personally attacked Tok MOY and his family,' he said, using Md Othman's moniker among the locals.

'It is obvious that the ridiculous smear campaign was intentionally engineered on the day Tok MOY was officially named as BN's candidate for Kukup.'

Despite having a corporate background, Md Othman is also seasoned in state-level politics as he is currently the Tanjung Piai Umno division chief, and was previously the Kukup assemblyman from 2008 to 2013.

However, he was then speculated to be the new MB candidate for Johor to replace Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, following the announcement of the former's candidacy for Kukup.

Md Othman has been tipped for MB ever since 2013. However, he did not contest the Kukup seat that year, giving way to the Tanjung Piai Umno's Suhaimi Salleh instead.

On Md Othman's campaign trail, another source said the man has been well received by the community.

'Tok MOY's machinery are mainly from BN's Tanjung Piai division's Wanita wing that numbers around 1,800 members consisting of woman volunteers from the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities,' said the source.

In Johor, the BN women's wing, especially Wanita Umno, are considered party loyalists will little thought to internal politics.

At the same time, the source added that Suhaimi, who is the incumbent Kukup assemblyman, has been seen assisting with Md Othman's campaign.

'This is indeed a positive development and signals the closing of ranks between the two factions, dismissing earlier rumours of a silent protest against Tok MOY by a faction aligned to Suhaimi,' said the source.

On May 9, Md Othman will face Pakatan Harapan candidate Suhaizan Kaiat from Parti Amanah Negara and PAS' Karim Deraman in a three-cornered fight.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:May 7, 2018
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