MUAR: Johor DAP vice-chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali will be taking on the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat in the 15th General Election.

Party secretary-general Anthony Loke made the announcement at a DAP fundraising dinner here on Thursday (Oct 27), where he also revealed the candidates for two other parliamentary seats in northern Johor.

Former Skudai assemblyman Tan Hong Pin will be vying for the Bakri parliamentary seat in Muar, replacing incumbent MP Yeo Bee Yin.

Incumbent Labis MP Pang Hok Liong will be defending the seat, added Loke.

With this announcement, DAP became the first Pakatan Harapan component in Johor to reveal its candidates for the upcoming polls.

Sheikh Umar, who is former Paloh assemblyman and state exco, defended the state seat in the recent Johor election, but lost to MCA’s Lee Ting Han.

In the 14th General Election, MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong received 17,076 to beat Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong, who had 16,773 votes and PAS’s Mardi Marwan who garnered 4,975 votes to win the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat.

In Bakri, Yeo received 38,718 votes against MCA’s Koh Chon Chai (15,507) and PAS’s Zarul Salleh (7,575), while Pang won in Labis with 16,706 compared to MCA’s Datuk Chua Tee Yong (13,301) and PAS’s Datuk Sarchu Sawal (2,020).

Loke said the party wanted to embrace diversity by fielding candidates of various races and backgrounds.

Loke is expected to announce the other candidates for south Johor this Sunday (Oct 30) during an appreciation dinner organised for DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Johor Baru.

Malaysia will go to the polls on Nov 19, following the Nomination Day that has been set for Nov 5.

Johor has a total of 26 parliamentary seats and there will be no state seats being contested, having wrapped up its state election on March 12.