KUALA LUMPUR: THE question of who is Barisan Nasional’s candidate for Selangor menteri besar — set to square off against Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, is not only pondered by voters in Selangor — but also across the country.

People are waiting to know the identity of BN’s candidate so that the they can make a choice, or at least know who will lead the state if BN wins the 14th General Election (GE14).

Ex-Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib had suggested that BN name its MB candidate to enable voters to make a choice, thus giving BN an advantage.

Recently, reports have emerged suggesting Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, who is from Selangor, could be in the running for the role. Also mentioned is Federal Territories Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Ikshan.

However, a source in Umno has claimed that the two are not on the list of candidates for the menteri besar post if BN recaptures the state.

Instead, the names being touted for the MB role are Batang Kali assemblyman Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan, Semenyih assemblyman Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz and Sungai Panjang assemblyman Budiman Mohd Zohdi, who is also Sungai Besar member of parliament.

“Johari Abdul Ghani will contest the Titiwangsa parliamentary seat.

“We have other candidates for MB’s post if we win,” said the source when asked whether the Umno Titiwangsa chief would contest a Selangor state seat this time around.

The source offered only the three names.

Mat Nadzari, 57, is Selangor Umno communications unit deputy chairman and Hulu Selangor Umno chief. Johan, 52, is the state Umno secretary and Hulu Langat Umno chief. He has served as Semenyih assemblyman since winning the GE12 in 2008.

Budiman, 46, is popular for his humble character, not just in Sungai Besar, but also in Selangor. He won the Sungai Panjang state seat in GE13, followed by the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat in the 2016 by-election.

According to the source, Budiman would only defend his state seat and pave the way for Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to contest the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat.

Johan, when asked on the speculation, said he would leave it to the party leadership to decide.

“Here, in Selangor, we leave it to the leadership. The only thing on our minds is to work towards victory,” he said.

Mat Nadzari said this was a decision to be made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“This is the prerogative of the prime minister. My job is to carry out what has been entrusted to me,” he said in a WhatsApp reply.

Budiman, when asked on the possibility of being a menteri besar candidate, replied: “I’m the gurkha of the party. The party leadership knows best where to place me.”

(From left) Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan, Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz and Budiman Mohd Zohdi. - NST File Pic

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