ALL EYES ON UMNO’S PM CANDAIDATE – SUSPENDED ALREADY, YET ANNUAR MUSA’S AIDE THROWS ACID AT ZAHID & CO – IT CAN BE ISMAIL SABRI, MAT HASAN OR KHAIRY BUT WHOEVER IT IS MUST BE ‘SOMEONE WITH NO BAGGAGE’, CLAIMS TUN FAISAL – YET WHO IN UMNO HAS NO BAGGAGE, INCLUDING ANNUAR MUSA?

Umno needs to nominate candidate for PM, says Tun Faisal

UMNO must identify its candidate for prime minister if it intends to contest the 15th general election without Perikatan Nasional, said party critic Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz.

“This must be a person who has no baggage, who voters can trust. Umno can then make him its poster boy,” said the Putrajaya division deputy chief on Insight Talk yesterday.

He said having “no baggage” meant a nominee free from court cases or scandals.

Tun Faisal, who was recently suspended from Umno for six years, accused of defaming party president Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said the Barisan Nasional lynchpin party has never been short of leaders.

“There is Khairy Jamaluddin too, although he’s a bit young,” said Tun Faisal, who is also the press secretary for Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa, who in turn is seen within Umno as being pro-Bersatu and PN.

Tun Faisal – who was once director of the propaganda, the Special Affairs Department – agreed with others like Khairy that Umno should also have fresh party polls to decide.

“If we are to go into elections, we need to bring a new face into the picture. As such, there should be new party elections.

“Old faces, especially those who are liabilities, should be gentlemen and make way for new people.”

Zahid has come under attack since the party’s general assembly two weekends ago.

Some of his critics, who favour sticking with PN, say that he had orchestrated the assembly to break off ties with Bersatu.

More than that, at the assembly Umno gave PAS an ultimatum to choose between it and rival Bersatu. The gamble failed as PAS ended up siding with Bersatu.

Zahid faces challenges on a number of fronts, including taking issue with his 87 corruption charges, calls for fresh elections and breaking up “Muslim” unity by ending ties with Bersatu and PAS.

The pro-PN faction in Umno also believes that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should retain his job come GE15.

Tun Faisal said there are steps Umno must take ahead of the next elections, after the general assembly voted to stop all political co-operation with Bersatu in GE15.

He said despite this decision, Umno has not presented any clear path to winning GE15 without PAS or Bersatu.

“Umno needs to find a way to win more seats if it wants to contest the next elections without Perikatan Nasional.

“What’s next, after it was decided at the Umno general assembly that there would be no Anwar (Ibrahim), no DAP and no Bersatu?

“Can Umno win more seats without sacrificing its principles?”

He said the best way for Umno to win is to be part of PN.

“That’s why we reject efforts for ‘new’ politics, which means working with PKR and DAP.”

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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