BN big names dropped, party solidarity at stake?

As Barisan Nasional (BN) is set to reveal its 15th General Election (GE15) candidates tonight, sources have told Sinar Daily that many members of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s cabinet have been dropped at the last minute.

(Sinar Daily) – The dropping of Ismail Sabri aligned cabinet ministers is ironic given the painstaking effort taken to present a united front and solidarity between him and Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Apart from the Ismail Sabri’s aligned cabinet members getting the chop, there are other MPs who have opted to retire which include Jasin MP 72-year old Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah and Parit MP Datuk Nizar Zakaria, 53.

A source said among the names that have allegedly been dropped include Caretaker Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar (Tanjong Karang), Caretaker Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique (Kota Tinggi), Caretaker Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (Arau), Caretaker Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba (Tenggara), Caretaker Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Ketereh) and his deputy Deputy Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidi (Padang Besar), Caretaker Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Muttalib (Maran, and Caretaker Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Mastura Mohd Yazid (Kuala Kangsar).

Two other major Umno names that have also been dropped is outspoken Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak) and Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif (Jempol), who is the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) chairman.

Sources say Ismail Sabri and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had gone to meet Zahid last night pleading to ensure the names who did not make the cut, espcially Noh were reconsidered and added back to the list.

One source said this has already created a split among party members as many fear they might be on the losing end of this decision.

“They (the dropped candidates) most likely won’t contest independently or quit Umno but but it can lead to widespread sabotage of machinery,” he said.

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