PETALING JAYA: Following the by-election victory of PAS vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar in Kemaman yesterday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has speculatively asked if PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang will now make way for Samsuri to lead the party.
Lim raised the question in his blog today, saying that Samsuri could bring PAS to a “new era” more relevant to Malaysia’s realities and needs.
Samsuri, a former academic with a degree in aerospace engineering who was an aide to Hadi, has recently been touted as a possible future prime minister.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin both stated last week that Samsuri had all the qualities needed to be a national leader.
Samsuri has been menteri besar of Terengganu since 2018, after succeeding Hadi as state assemblyman for Ru Rendang.
Lim said Samsuri could lead “a PAS which is more moderate and open-minded”, divorcing itself from the “hate speech and lies, falsehoods and fake news” identified with the party since it left Pakatan Rakyat in 2015.
He said Malaysia faced a bleak future if the leading opposition party’s MPs, including those with PhD qualifications, were media illiterate, unable to distinguish between truth and lies or between falsehoods and fake news with untruths.”
His comment is believed to be a reference to Kepala Batas MP, Siti Mastura Muhammad, who faces a police investigation over remarks linking Lim to the late Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng, and linking Lim’s family to the late Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
At yesterday’s by-election, Samsuri was returned as Kemaman MP by a 37,220-vote majority, defeating Raja Affandi Raja Noor of Barisan Nasional. Both men were making their parliamentary election debut.
Samsuri was fielded in Kemaman after an election court annulled the 2022 election of PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid over bribery claims.