KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) wants former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador to contest on behalf of the coalition, in its bid to spring a surprise in Umno’s stronghold Rembau.
Negri Sembilan GTA deputy chairman Mohamad Jani Ismail told Malay daily Utusan Malaysia that only Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad can persuade Abdul Hamid to be the coalition's front man in Rembau in the 15th general election (GE15).
He said that the matter has been brought up to the coalition’s top leadership for consideration.
"I gave my view to Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (GTA Deputy Chairman), if GTA wants to win and return to save the country, Abdul Hamid is the man.
"There is indeed an effort towards that (make Abdul Hamid a candidate) but the only one who can 'persuade' him is Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad alone.
"If asked for my personal opinion, it is indeed my wish for Abdul Hamid to contest in the Rembau parliamentary constituency," he was quoted as saying.
Mohamad Jani also reportedly admitted that it is hard to shake off Umno’s support especially when its party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan is rumored to be the candidate for Rembau, replacing Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
However, he said that with a towering figure like Abdul Hamid as its candidate, GTA may stand a chance.
"If you want a candidate, just put me because I am the leader of Pejuang Negri Sembilan, but there is someone more powerful and that is Abdul Hamid. Our goal is to win.
"For Rembau and the country, the services of individuals like Abdul Hamid is indeed needed.
"He is not a member of Pejuang but GTA gives space to all, including leaders of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), professional bodies and certain individuals with big names," he was reported saying.
Yesterday, it was reported that Abdul Hamid's name was mentioned as a potential candidate for GTA in GE15.
Abdul Hamid, who lives in Rembau and is now active in agriculture in Kampung Panchang, reportedly has a good relationship with Dr Mahathir.
During Pakatan Harapan's (PH) stint in the federal government, both Abdul Hamid and Dr Mahathir were in the office as IGP and prime minister, respectively.