Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Former Umno minister leaves door open to joining opposition

Former Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, who quit the party a week ago, said today he has not ruled out joining Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

The ex-Cabinet minister said many top leaders in PKR, PAS and the DAP, who were his “close friends”, had asked him to join the opposition pact but said he had yet to make a decision on the matter.

He stressed that for now he would focus on carrying on the “original fight” of Umno’s founding fathers for equality and democracy through NGO Angkatan Amanah Merdeka, where he is deputy president.

“I will remain quiet (in politics) first. I am more interested in fighting for important issues,” he told reporters at his office at Mines Business Park here.

Abdul Kadir (picture) said greater racial divisions, corruption, wastage and abuse of power were proof that Malaysia had strayed far from the collective vision of early Umno leaders such as Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak, who worked for the people.

He urged Putrajaya to stick to its reform promises and stamp out corruption, stop alleged bribery by the government and carry out free and fair elections, saying mere “sloganeering” was not enough.

“Those in power know the bad things we did before so let’s repent and reject those bad things,” he said, adding that it was never too late for the ruling party to change.

The former Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP said he was still deciding if he should contest for the federal seat in the next general election, and under whose ticket.

He added that he will accept invitations from NGOs to talk at ceramahs now that he has quit Umno.

Abdul Kadir resigned as an Umno member on March 19 after 56 years in the ruling party.

He made headlines in January when he accused Umno of handing out RM200 to RM1,000 to voters in previous elections in exchange for votes.

But the former Umno supreme council member has denied using the “bomb” strategy to win elections in Kulim-Bandar Baharu, where he was MP for 30 years until 2008.

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