PETALING JAYA: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has hinted at no longer serving as an MP after his term ends, having served the Bagan Datuk constituency in Perak for over 20 years.
Zahid, who was first elected Bagan Datuk MP in 1995, said he has been serving the constituency for “quite a long time” now, according to Berita Harian.
“I am now at the end of my service as MP, but before that, I want to see Bagan Datuk develop and progress. At least for Bagan Datuk to be number one in Perak when it comes to education.
“I want this district to have good infrastructure. I want to alleviate poverty among the Indians, Chinese and Malays, and it is also the prime minister’s desire to eradicate hardcore poverty nationwide,” he said at a Deepavali event at the Bagan Datuk Umno headquarters.
When asked by reporters to confirm if he would not defend his seat in the next general election, which must be held by mid-2027, Zahid repeated his statement that he is “at the end of my service”.
He said: “We will have the 16th general election, 17th general election and 18th general election… So let’s wait for the suitable time.” He did not elaborate.
Zahid is head of Umno and Barisan Nasional after taking over the posts from Najib Razak when the BN government lost power after being defeated at the 2018 general election.
BN put up its worst general election performance last year, with the coalition winning just 30 out of the 191 seats it contested. However, with no party attaining a simple majority, Zahid led BN into backing Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
He had been at the centre of controversy after being charged on 47 counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit in the Yayasan Akalbudi case.
However he was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in September. The decision drew protests from activists, party leaders in the unity government coalition as well as the opposition, and demands for an explanation from the attorney-general, who as public prosecutor, did not object to Zahid’s application for the conditional discharge.