Wahid’s likeability factor

By Deborah Loh, The Nut Graph

THOUGH PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claims divine intervention in his selection of the party's candidate for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election, there could be a more earthly, tactical reason. There is a story about the candidate, Abdul Wahid Endut, which illustrates the warm ties he has with his party's arch-rival, Umno, and why he spells trouble for them.

While Wahid, 51, was an executive councillor in the PAS-led Terengganu government from 1999 to 2004, he represented then Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, at a federal-level event held in the state. Wahid even read out Nazri's speech.

The incident raised eyebrows a little, as ministers from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government would normally send their deputy, or a senior ministry official, in their stead.

But Nazri, who confirmed the story with The Nut Graph, shrugs off the fact that a PAS assemblyperson spoke on his behalf. Wahid was the executive councillor in charge of entrepreneurs in the state at the time.

"Sure, he's from PAS, but so what? He was handling my ministry's portfolio in the state and we worked well together," Nazri says.