'Not yet': PAS on Galas candidate

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4: PAS has yet to wrap up its quest for a candidate in the upcoming Galas by-election, according to PAS president Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang.
Speaking after attending the party’s central committee meeting last night, Hadi said the party has yet to decide on a suitable candidate.
The Galas state constituency, traditionally a stronghold of UMNO until its defeat in 2008, was declared vacant following the death of PAS’s Che Hashim Sulaiman last week.
Che Hashim had wrested the seat from BN in 2008 by a 646-vote majority, securing 4,399 votes against BN’s 3,753 votes.
The seat falls under the Gua Musang parliamentary area, the stronghold of veteran UMNO leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
PAS recently said it had shortlisted the candidates qualified for Galas and was in the midst of passing the names to the party’s powerful Consultative Council before any decision could be made.
Hadi meanwhile said Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman, the Pengkalan Chepa member of parliament, had been appointed as the party’s election chief.
‘Razaleigh would not agree’
At the meeting last night, PAS reiterated its commitment to defend the seat.
On plans to field Razaleigh as a candidate, Hadi, echoing Murshidul Am Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, said the proposal was an attempt to insult the Gua Musang MP.
Hadi described Razaleigh – who once fell out with then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad when the latter won by a razor thin majority for the UMNO presidential post – as a “prime ministerial material” and should not be demoted to a state opposition figure.
Meanwhile, PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali said he was confident that Razaleigh would not be fielded in the by-election, saying the latter would not agree to be a candidate.
On a related development, Razaleigh in a brief message on his Twitter account said that he had not responded to any proposal by UMNO to date.
“You have to ask him (Muhyiddin), I have yet to say anything to anyone,” he said, referring to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin’s suggestion to field him as election director and candidate.