Unreasonable for PAS to field Dr M in Kemaman, says Hadi

The PAS president says Perikatan Nasional has yet to decide on who its candidate would be.

(FMT) – PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has quashed rumours the party will field former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for the Kemaman parliamentary by-election on Dec 2.

“No, Tun is not shortlisted. It would be unreasonable to field him as a candidate,” Hadi told a press conference at PAS’s 69th muktamar here today.

He said PAS and Perikatan Nasional have yet to decide who their candidate would be.

Nominations for the by-election will be held on Nov 18.

The seat was won by PAS’s Che Alias Hamid in the 15th general election with a majority of 27,170 votes over his nearest rival, former menteri besar Ahmad Said of Umno, who contested on a Barisan Nasional ticket.

However, on Sept 26, the result was nullified and the seat vacated when the election court in Kuala Terengganu held that the distribution of i-Belia and i-Siswa government aid to voters during the campaign period constituted election bribery.

The money had been distributed at events organised by the PAS-controlled Terengganu state government.

A source close to Mahathir had told FMT on Oct 4 that PAS was likely to field the former Umno president as its candidate for the by-election.

The source said having Mahathir in the Dewan Rakyat would allow the veteran politician to “better raise the states’ issues”, referring to the four PN-led state governments, or SG4, to which Mahathir is the unofficial adviser.

Asked whether the PAS grassroots have fully accepted Mahathir despite their past rivalry, Hadi replied in the affirmative.

“We understand that people change, and politics, too. In Islam, we are taught not to love excessively or hate excessively, as one day the person we despise might come to our aid,” he said.