KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim declined to say if he would defend his Arau seat on a Perikatan Nasional ticket today, after he was unceremoniously dropped by Umno last night.
According to Malaysiakini, the Arau incumbent instead claimed his platform would be to oppose Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,and said this would be reason for the “unification of Umno, Bersatu and PAS”.
“Competing like this, you can interpret it yourself but I believe that PAS will support me, Umno will support me, Bersatu will support me,” he was quoted as saying.
“So, what party should I name? Think about it,” before reiterating that he did not consider his replacement BN candidate, Rozabil Abd Rahman, his opponent, but rather Ahmad Zahid.
Shahidan’s remark allude to the Muafakat Nasional pact that had once been meant to encompass the three Malay-Muslim parties, but went defunct due to the unresolved rivalry between Umno and Bersatu.
However, the pact was never officially registered as a political party and it would not be possible to contest as a MN candidate in the 15th general election.
In the same Malaysiakini report, however, caretaker communications and multimedia minister Datuk Seri Annuar Musa, another Umno heavyweight who was also dropped last night, also indicated that he might launch his own defence of the Ketereh seat.
Annuar made similar allusions as Shahidan, but was more direct; he posted documents purportedly showing the Registrar of Societies’ recognition of MN as an organisation with him as its president, which dated to 2019.
Annuar insisted that there were still avenues open for him to serve and unite the ummah, or Muslim community.
“Islam and the Malay community should remain strong and in power. We are strong if united. Stand with the grassroots with a clear direction, and quality leadership.
“Even when discarded, (one) should remain a reliable fighter,” he wrote in the Facebook post appearing to claim MN’s registration.
Both warlords were dropped as BN candidates yesterday after months of defiance towards Ahmad Zahid, who had been pressuring caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob into an early general election.
Their omission from GE15 will be viewed as Ahmad Zahid’s move to consolidate power ahead of an expected BN victory, in which he was rumoured to be eyeing the prime ministership.
Yesterday, he was forced to deny allegations that he had made BN candidates sign declarations to support him for the position in order to receive their credentials to stand for election.