GE15: Four ministers among big guns likely dropped from contesting

PETALING JAYA: Four ministers are likely to be dropped from the list of Umno candidates to run for the 15th General Election.

Federal Territories Minister and four-term Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim called Monday (Oct 31) night the "saddest night" as he announced the closure of all his operational rooms in his incumbent constituency and lowering of all Umno and Barisan Nasional flags on his social media accounts.

ALSO READ: GE15: Priority to contest recommended for incumbent Kelantan BN MPs, says state Umno chief

"Tonight is the saddest night. All Barisan operational rooms of Arau parliamentary constituency have been closed and all flags have been lowered. First time in history," stated Shahidan in his post.

This comes one day ahead of Barisan's announcement of the list of candidates for the parliamentary seats nationwide Tuesday (Nov 1) at World Trade Centre by Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

ALSO READ: GE15: Dr Adham to make way for fresh face in Tenggara?

Shahidan first won the Arau seat in 1986. He served as the Perlis menteri besar and was also the Tambun Tulang state assemblyman between 1995 and 2008.

Another Umno minister who is said to have been dropped from the list of candidates is Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who hinted that he has been axed.

In his Facebook posting today, he stated that he has heard that many "winners were being axed, especially those close to the Prime Minister".

"They allegedly promised that they will choose the winnable, acceptable and likeable, but we hear here and there that many of the "winners have been axed, especially those close to the PM..." stated Annuar.

Shahidan and Annuar have both been big critics of Ahmad Zahid and supporters of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob since they became part of the government.

Meanwhile, in JOHOR BARU, it is learnt that incumbent Tenggara MP Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, who is the caretaker Science, Technology and Innovation Minister and Tenggara Umno division chief, is expected to be dropped as well.

“The news that his name is not on the Johor Barisan candidates list came rather late, considering he is also Johor Umno information chief," the source added.

The source said Umno is likely to field its Tenggara division youth chief Manndzri Nasib in the seat.

Speculation about Dr Adham being dropped intensified recently after he did not attend two programmes in the constituency on Monday (Oct 31) morning.

Besides Dr Adham, the other minister from Johor who will not be contesting in GE15 is caretaker National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, the incumbent Kota Tinggi MP.

It was reported on Oct 22 that Halimah, from the same division as Dr Adham, will make way for Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

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