Graphic by TMR
Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi confirmed yesterday that he has resigned as the DG of the Special Affairs Department (Jasa), ending speculation that he would quit if he was not nominated as a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for a seat in Johor in the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9.
He said in a post on his Facebook account that yesterday was his last day at the department and that he would not budge from his decision to quit.
Mohd Puad had contested as the BN candidate for the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat in GE13, in 2013, but lost to Datuk Mohd Idris Jausi of PKR by 1,732 votes.
On Monday, Johor BN chairman and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin announced Batu Pahat Wanita Umno chief Haliza Abdullah as the electoral candidate for the parliamentary seat .
Until Sunday night, a message believed to be from Mohd Puad had circulated on WhatsApp, expressing his desire to resign as Jasa chief and contest in the election as an independent candidate if he was not nominated by the BN.
Mohd Puad, who is the Batu Pahat Umno division chief, did not say anything on his position in Umno.
He was appointed Jasa DG in March 2015. He thanked Jasa staff for their assistance when he helmed the department.
“Indeed, many will condemn me. I remain steadfast. That’s the end of my history at Jasa.
“It was a hot spot. The DAP had brought a motion in Parliament early this year seeking the dissolution of Jasa.
“Prior to this, PH (Pakatan Harapan) had proposed in its budget that Jasa should be shut down.
“If you want me to recall one by one, I have done a lot for Jasa, so much so that it has become increasingly known including in the interior areas of Sabah and Sarawak, and also among Malaysian students abroad,” he said in the post. — Bernama