JOHOR BARU: After more than 40 years, Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad is closing the curtain on his political career and will not be defending his Johor Baru Umno division chief post, which he has held since the 1980s.
The former Johor Baru MP, who turns 74 on Nov 22 this year, said now was a good time for him to retire from politics.
"Why not I go now. I feel this is the right time for me as I am already in my 70s and there are good future leaders within the division and central party leadership.
"Future leaders should be given the responsibility now to have a good start for Umno's preparation for both Johor state elections and the 16th General Election," he said when met by The Star after attending a Johor Umno special meeting chaired by its new chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin here on Saturday (Feb 4).
Shahrir also said that his decision to retire was not influenced by his acquittal from money laundering charges at the High Court in January.
"I have still yet to get closure and have lodged a police report about the prosecution against me," he said.
When asked what he would do in the future, Shahrir said he did not have any plans but was looking forward to his retirement.
Shahrir won the Johor Baru MP seat in the 1978 General Election. However, Shahrir was suspended by Umno in 1988 and he resigned as Johor Baru MP, forcing a by-election.
He won the seat as an independent candidate and he retained the seat until the 2018 General Election where he lost to Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Khaled said Shahrir announced his retirement during the special meeting, which lasted for about two hours.
"During the meeting, Shahrir announced that he would not be defending his division chief position. We at Johor Umno thank him and appreciate his contributions to the party," he added.