Unwise for Umno to field Isa Samad, says analyst

Former Felda chairman Isa Samad is the Telok Kemang Umno division chief and Jempol MP.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst says Barisan Nasional (BN) would be foolish to field former Felda chairman Isa Samad as a candidate in the coming general election (GE14).

This followed reports that the controversial Umno leader’s name has been submitted to the BN leadership as a potential election candidate.

Speaking to FMT, Kamarul Zaman Yusoff from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) said fielding Isa would give the impression that BN was short of candidates with integrity.

“Not only could he lose, his candidacy could result in other BN candidates, especially in Negeri Sembilan, losing.”

Kamarul said Isa’s image in the public eye was not good, due to his alleged links to Felda scandals and detention by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in August last year.

Isa was released after five days in detention, with his lawyer saying he was not a suspect and was only called in to assist in the investigation.

Kamarul said even though Isa was an Umno warlord, he couldn’t win with the support of Umno voters alone.

“Prime Minister Najib Razak has to be firm, because Isa isn’t only linked to problems in Felda, he was also suspended in the past for money politics in Umno.”

In 2005, Isa was suspended from Umno for six years following accusations of involvement in money politics.

Kamarul said Isa should be dropped as there were many other young candidates.

“Umno must field the best person. Fielding Isa is as good as throwing away the seat.”

Meanwhile, Felda activist Mazlan Aliman said he was shocked by reports that Isa was even being considered.

“What happened to MACC’s statement that they have filtered BN candidates?

“This gives the impression that BN is not sensitive when it comes to integrity.”

Utusan Malaysia recently reported that Isa’s name had been submitted as a possible candidate as he is the Telok Kemang Umno division chief and Jempol MP.