Better him as PM, Shahidan joins Nazri in backing Anwar

Former minister Shahidan Kassim.

PETALING JAYA: After former minister Nazri Aziz’s open support for Anwar Ibrahim in the latter’s bid to make a parliamentary comeback, another Umno leader today appeared to have thrown in his support for the PKR president elect.

Former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said Anwar was a known quantity compared to many other leaders in the present Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“If you don’t want Anwar then there would be Mukhriz (Mahathir), Azmin (Ali) or someone else from PH who would be the prime minister after Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” Shahidan told FMT today.

“At least with Anwar, we know him.”

Yesterday, Nazri, who is Padang Rengas MP, said he would support Anwar in Port Dickson despite criticism over the move to force a by-election in the Negeri Sembilan federal constituency.

On Wednesday, incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah said he was making way for Anwar to contest the seat.

Shahidan, who was the Perlis Umno chief, said Nazri has the right to speak his mind.

“Nazri is my good friend. There is freedom to voice out in Umno, there should not be any problem,” he said when asked if Nazri could be subjected to disciplinary action in Umno for supporting a rival candidate.

“On paper, PH can win in Port Dickson but PAS and Umno could also think of contesting there.”

Shahidan said while he is an Umno member, he has a different view on the Port Dickson by-election.

“Here the situation is different. We are fighting to stop Anwar from becoming the next prime minister. For what? If we stop Anwar from becoming the prime minister, another person from PH will become the prime minister.

“If you don’t want Anwar to become the next prime minister after Mahathir, there will be someone else from PH. It makes no difference,” he said.

He said opposition parties had to be “realistic” and think again before contesting in Port Dickson.

“Why contest in an area we cannot win?” he asked.