PUTRAJAYA, Sept 18 — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad should not be nominated as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bagan Pinang state by-election.
He said Umno’s image would be affected because it would be regarded as not being serious in fighting money politics if it chose as candidate someone who has been found guilty of political corruption.
“Isa has already been found guilty. If Umno fields him, it means that Umno is not serious about such cases.
“Even if he can win there, (we) have to consider what the whole of Malaysia thinks of Umno,” he said in an interview with Bernama yesterday.
He was asked to comment on talk that Isa, the Teluk Kemang Umno division head, was among those listed as candidates for the Bagan Pinang by-election.
Dr Mahathir said although the Teluk Kemang Umno division wanted Isa to contest, it must remember that the by-election involved not only representatives from the division.
The people would view him as representing Umno nationwide and reflecting Umno’s stand.
“One can win to become Umno president but it does not mean that he can win elections,” he said.
Isa was suspended for three years from June 24, 2005, for money politics in the 2004 Umno elections. He was originally suspended for six years but it was reduced after he appealed.
Nomination for the Bagan Pinang by-election has been fixed for Oct 3 and polling on Oct 11. The seat fell vacant following the death of Barisan Nasional incumbent Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.
On the MCA crisis, Dr Mahathir said it could be resolved if party leaders placed the interest of the party above self.
“A leader will not do anything to destroy the party. If you know that you are no longer qualified, for whatever reason, you stop. Don’t cling on (to the post),” he said.
He said leaders should realise that it they owed their status to the party.
The MCA crisis escalated following the sacking of deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek for his DVD sex scandal in 2007 which was said to have tarnished the party’s image. The party will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10 to resolve the matter. — Bernama
Don’t name Isa Samad as candidate, says Dr Mahathir