PETALING JAYA: An Umno “outcast” MP in Perak, Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali Azmi of Bagan Serai, has announced he is switching support to Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its chairman, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“From this moment on, I have left Umno and BN (Barisan Nasional), and declare my support for Mahathir,” he said at a press conference aired live by Sinar Harian.
He said he had been an outcast in Bagan Serai Umno and was never accepted by the division members during his previous five-year term as MP. He would now be an independent MP but he plans to join Mahathir’s party, PPBM.
Noor Azmi won re-election as Bagan Serai MP on May 9, but his majority of 1,140 votes in 2013 was slashed to a mere 172 votes over his PAS rival Rohaya Bakar.
He claimed that Bagan Serai Umno had tried to sabotage his re-election campaign.
With his departure, Umno is left with 53 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and BN with 56, including 1 from MCA and 2 from MIC. Yesterday, the Gerakan party, which has no parliamentary seats, announced it was leaving BN.
Noor Azmi hoped that the PH-led state and federal governments would help his constituency. “Without power and solid allocations, we can’t help the people,” he said.
Noor Azmi’s departure comes a day after 10 branch leaders and former leaders of Rembau and Rasah Umno in Negeri Sembilan announced they were leaving the party to support the PH government.
They were joined by leaders of 10 groups, including Gerakan Memartabatkan Pejuang Negara, Pertubuhan Perjuangan Rakyat Malaysia, Pertubuhan Permuafakatan Minda Sosial and Persatuan Foodtruck Batu 4 Port Dickson.
Among the branch leaders who left were Major (Rtd) Razali Zakaria, head of Tasik Jaya Bandar Umno in Rembau, Dataran Senawang leader Ramli Hamid, Ismail Ibrahim (Taman Maridah), Abu Hasman Yacop (Desa Tasik Jaya) and Muhammad Nizam (Kampung Sentosa).