GEORGE TOWN: A political analyst said Perlis state assemblyman Ismail Kassim’s departure from Umno vindicates the palace’s earlier rejection of him as menteri besar candidate.
Analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said if Ismail had been made menteri besar, he would have likely used it as a bargaining chip to cross over to Pakatan Harapan (PH) later.
Ismail was the choice of nine Perlis assemblyman for the post of menteri besar but he was not favoured by Perlis Raja Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail who chose to retain Azlan Man as MB.
Ismail quit Umno this morning and has indicated he might join PPBM. Perlis PPBM is strongly against his admission into the party.
“Ismail can be seen as a mere sore loser, leaving after being frustrated at not being appointed the Perlis MB. It also vindicates the ruler’s rejection of him as the MB candidate.
“If it is true that he had considered leaving Umno since 2008 as reported, he should not have contested under the Umno banner in the recent 14th general election.
“Just imagine what would have happened if he were to leave Umno after being appointed Perlis MB… I suspect he would have used that as a bargaining chip to cross over to PH,” Kamarul told FMT.
He said while Ismail’s exit from BN had taken away the party’s two-thirds majority in the state assembly, it would not make any significant dent on the political scenario in the state.
“A two-thirds majority is not something that important in the context of a small opposition state like Perlis,” he said.
Kamarul said Ismail has a lot of baggage that he will bring if he joins a PH party, following his rude behaviour towards the Perlis ruler at the height of the MB impasse.
“I don’t think Ismail can get any prominence in PPBM if he is accepted by the party.
“What more when numerous police reports were lodged against his brother, Shahidan Kassim, and himself for their untoward behaviour towards the Perlis Ruler during the crisis.
“Some of the unfriendly behaviour was even targeted at PH,” Kamarul told FMT.
Kamarul said Ismail’s resignation from BN would not impact the state as a whole as it would merely affect Tambun Tulang, where Ismail is the assemblyman.
Ismail’s brother, Shahidan, is the Perlis Umno chief.