BAGAN DATUK — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) remains as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) poster boy and candidate for the post of prime minister in the 15th General Election (GE15).
BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who said this, added that the coalition’s stand on this would not change if BN succeeded in getting to administer from Putrajaya.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO president, said following BN’s stand, the question of whether Ismail Sabri would be BN’s candidate for the post of prime minister did not arise, but this was being played up by the opposition.
“At the party level, the decision that Ismail Sabri is our ‘poster boy’ and candidate for the post of prime minister is final as decided by the UMNO Supreme Council.
“The actions of certain parties are only aimed at causing friction, especially within UMNO and among the BN components, as they have no other means,” he said when met by reporters after opening the Bagan Datuk UMNO Division meeting, here, today.
Previously, there had been statements from certain quarters, claiming that the incumbent (Ahmad Zahid) for the Bagan Datuk parliamentary seat would be named as candidate for the prime minister post if BN wins in GE15.
UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan also reportedly denied a statement claiming that Ahmad Zahid had been named as candidate for the prime minister post as viraled on social media.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid views PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s statement claiming that the issues shackling UMNO-BN relations which included corruption as just his personal opinion.
“As an individual with deep religious knowledge, he should not be using religion for a political purpose but using politics to instead strengthen the religion,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also said that he always upheld the parliamentary democratic practice of welcoming any individual wishing to contest the Bagan Datuk seat in the upcoming GE15.
“This country practises democracy and all politicians uphold this, so I invite anyone to contest the seat here.
“If Mohamed Tawfik (Tun Dr Ismail) wants the Bagan Datuk seat, I welcome him as ultimately, the people will decide and definitely, they are smart enough to differentiate between a ‘diamond’ and ‘glass’,” he added.
The media had earlier reported that Mohamed Tawfik, son of the late Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman was prepared to contest against Ahmad Zahid wherever, including Bagan Datuk.
Mohamed Tawfik, the founder of Gerak Independent, was once the Member of Parliament for Sungai Benut in Johor from 1986 to 1990. — BERNAMA