PETALING JAYA: Zahid Mat Arip, the former special officer to ex-Felda chairman Mohamed Isa Samad, is the likely candidate to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak in the Pekan parliamentary seat, PPBM sources say.
This followed a meeting between Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Shahar, the candidate earlier named to challenge Najib, and Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
Kamarul said the former prime minister had explained the strategy for Pekan and requested that he make the sacrifice to make way for a new candidate.
“It is clear from Tun’s explanation that the strategy will also change the Malaysian political landscape,” he said.
“I agreed to his request and to make way for Zahid Mat Arip.”
The source told FMT that Mahathir is expected to announce Zahid’s candidacy today.
Zahid, who is also a PPBM Supreme Council member, was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in August to assist with the ongoing investigation into the overpriced hotel purchase by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) in Kuching.
He has denied any wrongdoing and alleges that the arrest was a form of persecution.
Zahid, a grandson of the late deputy prime minister Ghafar Baba, had also filed a suit to declassify the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB. However, the action was dismissed.
Najib, who has been Pekan MP since 1976, was re-elected in the 2013 general election with a majority of 35,613 votes. He garnered 51,278 votes against Mohd Fariz Abd Talib of PKR, who got 15,665.
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