Ahmad Said's position as a candidate remains uncertain

24 Oct 2023 10:28am
BN Terengganu Election Director Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Dungun Umno Division Chief Datuk Din Adam.
BN Terengganu Election Director Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Dungun Umno Division Chief Datuk Din Adam.

SHAH ALAM - Despite the fact that former Terengganu Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said is currently the state election machinery director, it is not impossible for him to be appointed as a candidate for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming by-election for the Kemaman parliamentary seat on Dec 2.

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin political analyst, Dr Hussain Yusri Zawawi said that Ahmad might nominate himself to BN Chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi, as a candidate for the Kemaman by-election because he needs to become an MP to remain relevant in the local political landscape.

"BN is also facing a significant challenge in finding other local candidates to stand in the Kemaman Parliamentary by-election due to a shortage of capable and influential leaders like Ahmad Said," he told Sinar.

Hussain said other contenders, for example former Chukai state legislative assemblyman, Datuk Seri Mohamed Rahim Hussin, or Umno Kemaman youth chief, Zulkefli Abu Bakar, are also seen as less popular among Kemaman parliamentary voters if they were to be nominated as candidates.

"Mohamed Rahim also suffered a heavy defeat with a majority of more than 8,100 votes to Pas candidate, Hanafiah Mat, in Chukai during the previous state elections," he said.

He said that BN might be able to give Pas competition if they bring in a well-known candidate from another area to contest in the Kemaman by-election.

"If BN retains its existing candidate, it's not impossible for them to lose easily and give Pas a larger majority. This is because we can see that Ahmad's loss to Che Alias Hamid in the 15th General Election (GE15) was not due to the personal influence of the former Kemaman MP but a result of changes in the political landscape and voter rejection, including Umno supporter's rejection of BN," he said.

Furthermore, Hussain Yusri predicted that Pas is expected to win big in the Kemaman by-election, regardless of who the candidate is, including Che Alias.

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"This is because in Terengganu, including Kemaman, the majority of voters reject BN for various reasons at both the national and state levels.

"So, the internal conflict within Umno at the national level and in Terengganu, including Ahmad's reluctance to resign from the positions of Umno Chairman and BN State Chairman, despite their 32 to zero defeat to Pas in the previous state elections, has made the people hesitant to vote for BN ," he said.

Meanwhile, Dungun Umno Division Chief Datuk Din Adam stated that Ahmad will not be selected as a candidate because he has been appointed as the election machinery director for the Kemaman by-election, and needs to focus on efforts to recapture the seat.

However, Din, who is also the Terengganu Umno deputy chairman and a former Bukit Besi state assemblyman, added that he has no knowledge of who will be nominated as the BN candidate.

"I have no idea at all about who will become the BN candidate for Kemaman, but I believe that the state's top leadership and central Umno will choose the best local leader based on the constituency's current needs.

“If they consider Ahmad to be the best leader, then he will be the BN candidate for Kemaman, and we will do our best to recapture this seat from Pas," he said.

On Sunday, Zahid announced that Umno would field a candidate born in Kemaman, Terengganu, for the Kemaman by-election.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Umno President said that the party has obtained several names as potential candidates, and they will be shortlisted soon.