PAS wants Rohaizat to withdraw

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PERMATANG PAUH: PAS has called on Barisan Nasional (BN) Permatang Pasir by-election candidate Rohaizat Othman to withdraw following his credibility and morality coming into question after being disbarred as a lawyer last year.

PAS by-election director Datuk Mahfuz Omar emphasised that it was not a character assassination on Rohaizat but the voters in the constituency should not be shortchanged.

“The voters deserve a choice of a better candidate than him,” Mahfuz said. “It is an insult and betrayal to them.

“I feel sorry for Rohaizat as an ‘older’ brother but it is only right for him to withdraw.

“He is still young and full of promise, with a long way to go in politics but this episode of his disbarment would surely mar his image.

“BN is unfair to put him through this and they should have selected a better candidate,” he said at a press conference at the PAS election operation centre in Permatang Pasir.

The Edge Malaysia quoted Malaysia Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan on Monday as saying the offence under Section 103D of the Legal Profession Act 1976 was for individual misconduct.

Rohaizat had been disbarred Aug 7 last year and his appeal to the High Court was dismissed on Aug 12 this year.

He said the offence was for personal liability and the complaint had been filed against Rohaizat himself by the Koperasi Pekebun Getah involving RM161,000.

He also said the disciplinary committee would not find any innocent party guilty, and the charge leveled against Rohaizat was tantamount to criminal misconduct.

Mahfuz said though Rohaizat has pledged to explain about the issue, his guilt was clear to all and sundry.

“Even if it involved his partner as alleged by the BN, his morality as partner also comes into question.

“If you can’t even manage a law firm, how are you going to look after the interests of thousands of constituents, and also there would be allocations to be disbursed,” he added.

Asked about PAS’ chances to retain the seat Mahfuz expressed optimism.

“Even going by the choice of candidate, we win hands down.

“It is so easy to differentiate between our candidate Ustaz Mohd Salleh Man and Rohaizat.

“The percentage is clearly in our favour at this moment but we are nevertheless wary of BN’s money politics coming into place, just like Manik Urai.

“Even if we cannot maintain our majority, a win by one vote is still a victory,” he added.

He said PAS would also go all out to explain the recent incidences including the sale of beers in Muslim majority areas in Selangor and the split among the Pakatan Rakyat parties.

“The BN is bent on taking over the Selangor state government by hook or by crook by breaking us up, using racial and religious fault lines, but we will not let that happen,” he added.

Mahfuz also hit out at Penang Umno Chief and defence minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for using the army for BN’s political mileage.

He alleged that army personnel had set up medical check booths at BN tents to provide free checks for villagers in Permatang Pasir. – The Edge