PETALING JAYA: Datuk Tamrin Ghafar, who joined PAS on Saturday, will be tasked with helping the opposition party to make inroads in Johor and Malacca.
PAS officials said Tamrin, a former Umno member and the son of former deputy prime minister Tun Ghafar Baba, would be taking part in a series of ceramah in the two states in a bid to increase Malay support for the Islamist party.
The Opposition, including PAS, has been trying to woo Malays in both Barisan Nasional and Umno bastion states ahead of the general election.
“Tamrin's entry into PAS will help us get Malay support in the southern states where both he and his late father are held in high esteem,” said PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub.
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who was present when Tamrin submitted his membership application form to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at a party event on Saturday night, said Ghafar had been close to PAS leaders since 1990.
“Tamrin told us that he left Umno because it is no longer the same party which his father had fought for,” said Mohamad.
Mohamad said the party leadership had not yet discussed at length Tamrin's full role in the party, including whether he would be fielded as a candidate in the next general election.
“For now, his role will be to reach out to the people an to get them to support PAS,” said Mohamad.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the defections of some Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders, which have been described as “heavyweight defections” by the opposition, are merely an opposition gimmick to “pull wool over the eyes of the people”.
He said this was because the said leaders were not wanted by the Barisan Nasional coalition.
Citing the case of Tamrin Tun Ghafar who quit Umno to join PAS, Khairy said it was an opposition political plot because Tamrin himself had been out of Umno politics for so long, and that this is a way for him to “get back on the horse”.
“I think the pro-opposition media is highlighting these defections to make it look grand and heavy, but it is not.
“But when people from our side jump to his (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's) side, Anwar says they don't like us and it's for the rakyat (people), but if people from his side jump (to Barisan), he says it is because we give money.
“I'm sick of hearing these lies. Don't insult the people's intelligence,” he told reporters yesterday.
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