PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today hailed PAS vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar’s victory in the Kemaman by-election as a victory for moderation in Malaysia.
“I congratulate Samsuri on the victory. Hopefully, he can carry out his duties well,” said Anwar.
“From a national perspective, he provides some relief because of a more moderate image compared to the more extreme stance of PAS’s leadership.
“Hopefully, this (Samsuri’s victory) can alleviate the overly heated political atmosphere,” he said in a press conference after officiating the National Technical Profession Day here.
Samsuri, the Terengganu menteri besar, won the Kemaman seat on Saturday after beating Barisan Nasional’s Raja Affandi Raja Noor by a 37,220-vote majority.
Samsuri was fielded in Kemaman after an election court annulled the 2022 election of PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid over bribery claims.
Samsuri, a former academic with a degree in aerospace engineering who was an aide to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, has recently been touted as a possible future prime minister.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin both said that Samsuri had all the qualities needed of a national leader.
Samsuri has been the menteri besar of Terengganu since 2018, after succeeding Hadi as state assemblyman for Ru Rendang.
Meanwhile, Anwar did not entirely agree with Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan’s takeaways from the by-election.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman also said that a meeting between his coalition and Umno leaders was held yesterday, and that he was satisfied with the outcome.
He said they had mobilised their respective machinery at the grassroots level.
Yesterday, Mohamad said Umno still had a long way to go in recapturing the Malay vote, following its humbling in Kemaman.
The inability to sway Malay voters back to its fold was among the five “takeaways” from the by-election, Mohamad said in a Facebook post.
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