Umno members remove flags, shut down ops room in Gua Musang

People taking down the BN flag before closing the party’s election operations room in Gua Musang.

GUA MUSANG: Grassroots leaders in Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s stronghold of Gua Musang have shut down the Barisan Nasional (BN) election operations room to protest the dropping of Paloh state seat incumbent Nozula Mat Diah, who served the constituency for 28 years.

On Monday, they took down the BN flag at the Jeram Tekoh polling centre and replaced it with the PAS flag.

Twelve polling centre heads in Paloh also quit their posts and refused to continue helping in the campaign.

When contacted by FMT, a Gua Musang Umno leader said the unhappiness was not confined to Paloh but had spread throughout the parliamentary constituency.

Besides Paloh, Gua Musang, which has been held by Tengku Razaleigh for over four decades, also includes the state seats of Galas and Nenggiri.

Another Gua Musang leader who asked for anonymity placed the blame for the crisis on the miscalculation of Tengku Razaleigh, who heads the Umno division there.

“Many grassroots supporters of BN are unhappy with Tengku Li,” he said, referring to Tengku Razaleigh’s nickname.

“The party president (Najib Razak) himself did not have the courage to intervene in the selection of candidates here. The Kelantan Umno chairman (Mustapa Mohamed) was also afraid to interfere because Tengku Li has the final say.

“Tengku Li should have acted transparently in this matter,” he told FMT.

According to him, Norzula was told by Tengku Razaleigh a few days before the announcement of candidates that he would be retained to contest in Paloh.

“But two days before the announcement, Kelantan BN deputy chairman Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub met Norzula and told him he had been dropped.

“The people in Paloh feel cheated,” he said.

He said the feelings of dissatisfaction also surfaced in Galas and Nenggiri because the appointment of candidates was not done in the “correct way”.

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