Puad Zarkashi's knowledge still needed to rebuild Umno - analysts
SHAH ALAM - Seasoned politician Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's vast political experience and knowledge are still needed to rebuild Umno despite the recent loss in Umno polls.
Political analysts regarded the veteran leader's defeat in retaining his position as Batu Pahat division chief as just a small dent in his political portfolio.
Political analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun said Puad is very outspoken and sometimes a controversial Umno politician who has seen ups and downs in his political career.
"He has been through appointments such as deputy minister and State Assembly Speaker, so the defeat in this election is just a minor dent in his political career," he told Sinar Daily.
Dr Oh also noted Puad's political comeback in one form or another could not be ruled out.
UPM political science professor Datuk Prof Dr Jayum Anak Jawan echoed Dr Oh's view of Puad, saying that he was outspoken but lacked substance at times.
"I have always thought that Puad represented the new Malay and second echelon leadership in Umno as he is quite vocal but lacking a bit of substance at times, but that is fine as he will get better with age," Prof Jayum said, comparing Mohd Puad to a bottle of wine that tastes better with age.
Prof Jayum also pointed out that Puad's defeat with 99 votes behind his contender was a huge loss as he was previously a Johor State Assembly Speaker.
Political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis added that Puad is still very much relevant to the party as he may have contributed significantly as state assembly speaker.
"He needs to be less controversial and help the party by passing on his knowledge and experience as a veteran to the new ones," Mujibu said describing Puad as among the most vocal and controversial figures in Umno.
Puad fell short in defending the Batu Pahat Umno division chief's post, losing in a three-corner clash.
Former Umno division deputy chief Zaidi Japar received 401 votes to Mohd Puad's 302 in the results which were announced on Sunday.
The other candidate, Johari Abd Razak, obtained only six votes.
The election held at Batu Pahat Jubli Intan Hall on Saturday was attended by 709 representatives.
Puad has been the Batu Pahat Umno division chief since 2004.