Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Permatang Pauh, Datuk Ariff Shah Omar Shah has outlined two main agenda for the electorate should he get elected on Aug 26.

The Seberang Jaya State Assemblyman said he would strengthen unity among the races in Permatang Pauh and to tackle poverty in the parliamentary constituency.

He said Permatang Pauh had been cursed and deprived of development since it fell to the opposition in 1999 as the people and elected representative were not close.

“It is time to break the curse on Permatang Pauh by giving me the chance to serve the people of Permatang Pauh by resolving their problems,” he told reporters after launching the BN election machinery for Permatang Pauh here Wednesday night.

The choice of Ariff Shah as the BN candidate for Permatang Pauh was announced by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here.

On his chances in facing Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Ariff Shah, 52, said he was confident of wresting the seat with the support of all races in the constituency.

Ariff Shah who was former Permatang Pauh Umno youth chief when Anwar was the division chief, said he would be able to shoulder the responsibility as a Member of Parliament as well as that of a State Assemblyman.

“I believe Umno members in Permatang Pauh will close ranks and help me restore BN’s strength in the constituency and not habour any feeling towards me,” he said.

Earlier, Ariff Shah who was seated at the back of the stage rushed forward to hug Permatang Pauh Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid after his name was announced by Najib as BN candidate for the by-election.

A teary-eyed Ariff Shah was later hugged by the division deputy chief Datuk Pirdaus Ismail.

Ariff Shah then raised Abdul Jalil and Pirdaus’ hands.