Malaysia: Warisan gets ex-Umno man to lead Johor charge, confirms electoral debut

  • Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal confirmed his party’s electoral debut in Johor and roped in a former Umno leader, Suhaimi Salleh, to the new state chapter.
  • Shafie did not disclose the exact seats Warisan plans to contest in Johor but it is noteworthy that Suhaimi was the Kukup assemblyperson from 2008 to 2013. Warisan insiders have indicated that they will only contest a handful of seats to “test the waters”.
  • Shafie acknowledged concerns that the Sabah-based Warisan may split the votes for the opposition, but he added that with or without Warisan, the main opposition Pakatan Harapan had performed poorly.
  • “When we didn’t contest in Malacca and Sarawak, PKR still lost while DAP saw their seats reduced,” he said. As such, Shafie said Warisan wants to provide an alternative to the people.
  • Among the invited VIPs at the event included Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and incumbent Puteri Wangsa assemblyperson Mazlan Bujang, who recently quit Bersatu.
  • However, Syed Saddiq and Mazlan did not turn up at the event. Muda is the only opposition party that has struck a deal with Pakatan Harapan to contest in the Johor state election, without clashing.
  • Notable leaders who did turn up at the dinner included Selangor’s Teratai assemblyperson Bryan Lai who in 2021 quit DAP amid an extramarital affair controversy and former Johor Gerakan Wanita vice-chief Wong Siew Poh and former MIC central working committee member S Sunther.
  • At a press conference later, Shafie said Warisan was still in talks with Muda, but he did not disclose the nature of the negotiations. He added that he spoke to Syed Saddiq on 15 Feb 22 but said Muda had yet to make a decision.
  • On a related matter, Shafie said he was also in discussions with Mazlan. During the event, one of the slides erroneously displayed Mazlan as Warisan’s new Johor chief.
  • It was an indication that Warisan had courted Mazlan for the role but Mazlan has declared support for Umno Johor chief Hasni Mohammed.
  • However, Shafie said Mazlan has indicated a willingness to help Warisan. At the event, several Bersatu members from 11 branches in Sekijang submitted their Warisan membership forms to Shafie.
  • Shafie declined to reveal the seats Warisan planned to contest, stating that an announcement will be made in due time.

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