MUADZAM SHAH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Barisan Nasional has named Datuk Hasan Arifin as its candidate in the coming Rompin parliamentary by-election.
The former deputy mentri besar and two-term assemblyman has been given the task to defend the Barisan stronghold.
Hasan, 62, is the Rompin Umno division deputy chief.
He is now the acting chief following the death of his boss Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis in a helicopter crash early this month.
His candidacy will come as an early birthday gift, ahead of his birthday on April 28.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made the announcement on Saturday before a huge crowd at the Rompin Umno building here before presenting an official scroll to Hasan.
Also present were Pahang Mentri Besar Adnan Yaakob, Barisan and Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and component party leaders.
Muhyiddin said after a discussion with Prime Minister Najib Razak, it was decided that Hasan was the best candidate to be fielded.
He said Hasan was very experienced and credible, with grassroots support.
Muhyiddin added that Hasan was willing to listen to the grievances of the people.
The seat fell vacant after Dr Jamaluddin was killed along with five other people on April 4 near Semenyih.
Nomination for the by-election has been set for April 22 and polling on May 5.
In the last general election, Barisan won the seat with a thumping 15,114-vote majority.