PETALING JAYA: Former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam is set to be made a senator that will give him a passage to move into the federal level.
He is also expected to take over the helm of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd today.
His nomination to the Senate has sparked speculation that Mohd Ali would be made a minister or a special adviser in the Prime Minister’s Department.
When contacted, Mohd Ali declined to confirm the nomination.
Asked whether he had received the letter of nomination, Mohd Ali said: “Check with the office of the Malacca Chief Minister.”
A senior Malacca leader said the state government had agreed to offer Mohd Ali a senatorship.
“Mohd Ali has worked hard to develop Malacca. He put the state on the world tourism map,” said the leader.
“Besides that, he also has experience as an administrator and served as deputy minister in the Transport and Health ministries.”
According to a Malacca Umno leader, Mohd Ali did indeed receive the letter.
He said that if Mohd Ali, an Umno supreme council member, was made a minister, it would be the first time after 20 years that a politician from Malacca was in the Cabinet.
After the late Tun Ghafar Baba resigned as Deputy Prime Minister in 1993, the Umno leader said Malacca failed to have a leader to represent the state in the Cabinet.
“It has been a long dry season for Malacca at the federal level.”
Mohd Ali, who was Malacca Chief Minister from 1999 to 2013, had intended to move to the federal level when he contested the Bukit Katil parliamentary seat in the May general election. However, his dream was shattered when he lost the seat to PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.
Since his defeat, he has been keeping a quiet profile. However, without specifying it, he hinted during a recent interview that he might contest one of the three vice-president’s posts in the coming Umno elections.
So far, Mohd Ali has kept silent on which post he would contest in that polls.
Only Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal have confirmed they will defend their posts.
Last week, former Negri Sembilan Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who is Felda Global Ventures chairman, announced his intention to contest for the vice-presidency.