PAS denies plan to field Dr Mahathir in Kemaman

Diyana Ibrahim

PAS denies that it may name former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a candidate in the Kemaman by-election. – The Malaysian Inisght file pic, October 4, 2023.

PAS today denied a news report that it plans to field Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate in the Kemaman by-election.

Party vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, who is also Terengganu menteri besar, said there has been no discussion with the top leadership on preparations for the by-election.

“That’s just a joke. I read it in the media only. Until today, we have not been able to sit together with the top leadership to discuss preparations for the Kemaman by-election.

“This includes which state to be chosen to help PAS in the by-election. We don’t even have a date for the discussion yet,” he said at a press conference at the Terengganu Legislative Assembly today.

Samsuri was commenting on a report by a news portal, which claimed that PAS might name the former prime minister as a candidate in the by-election.

The report only quoted sources close to Dr Mahathir as saying that negotiations had begun regarding the nomination.

It said the nomination would give Dr Mahathir the opportunity to serve as a “more effective check and balance on the unity government”.

“Negotiations have begun with PAS leaders regarding his candidacy,” said the source.

“Dr Mahathir has great influence among Malay voters and grassroots leaders. If he wins, he will be the oldest member of parliament to be elected. (Dr Mahathir is 98.)

“Most importantly, they want to put Dr Mahathir in parliament to represent the interests of the four state governments led by PAS and Perikatan Nasional.”

Dr Mahathir was recently appointed an unofficial adviser to the four state governments led by PAS.

Samsuri, who is also Rhu Rendang assemblyman, did not rule out the possibility of PAS fielding an outside candidate in the Kemaman by-election.

Asked about the expected meeting date for the by-election, he hinted that it might start next week.

Last week, the Election Court in Kuala Terengganu ruled that the outcome of the Kemaman election last year was void due to corrupt practices.

The seat was won Che Alias Hamid of PAS. The party has decided not to appeal against the decision and said it would face the by-election. – October 4, 2023.

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