PETALING JAYA: Tariq Ismail, the grandson of the late illustrious Umno leader Ismail Abdul Rahman, has been dropped as a candidate for Sri Gading, despite speculation that he was PPBM’s favourite to contest in the Johor federal seat in the coming polls.
Tariq, who heads PPBM’s Sri Gading division, confirmed the decision to FMT today, saying that he was told that it was not the “right time” for him to contest in the elections.
He said he accepted the decision, saying it would be difficult to run in the elections in the face of the showdown between Umno and its former strongman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“For now I would rather spend time with my family and take care of the kids,” he said.
Sri Gading is one of the 15 parliamentary constituencies that the four-party Pakatan Harapan is hoping to wrest from BN in the 14th general election.
In the last polls, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) incumbent Aziz Kaprawi beat PKR’s Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar with a 5,761-vote majority, almost half of the majority BN won in 2008.
Tariq, 38, said he would still support Mahathir despite not being selected as a candidate, saying he had much to learn from the former prime minister.
“The most important thing for now is for Tun (Mahathir) to win. Tun has his strategy and he knows what he is doing and I believe in that,” he told FMT.
He said he now could contribute more to the opposition campaign.
“I might as well campaign with Tun nationwide. This way I can learn from the best rather than losing my seat. Who is the best person other than Tun Mahathir?”