13/03/2004

UMNO sees attempt to oust Deputy Kelantan Menteri Besar

UMNO sees attempt to oust Deputy Kelantan Menteri Besar

KOTA BHARU March 12 - Pengkalan Chepa UMNO sees it as an attempt by the Pas leadership to oust Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman when they slotted him for the Pengkalan Chepa seat.

Its pro tem chief, Datuk Dr Nik Mohd Zain Omar said it was a subtle way of getting rid of Abdul Halim and denying him any chances of becoming a Menteri Besar.

"To me, he is the most qualified to succeed (Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat after serving as the number two for three terms," he told Bernama here Friday.

Nik Aziz announced Thursday that Abdul Halim would move from his state seat of Kijang to the parliamentary seat of Pengkalan Chepa in the coming general election.

This reportedly was the wishes of the party's national leadership and the people.

Dr Nik Zain, who is expected to challenge Abdul Halim, said it also showed that Kelantan Pas was facing internal crisis in finding successor for Nik Aziz.

"Now, there seems to be an attempt by Pas to project Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, who has been nominated for Panchor seat, as a possible successor instead," he said.

Nik Mohd Amar is the incumbent for Pengkalan Chepa parliamentary seat.

He said there was also an attempt also to promote Kubang Kerian incumbent Husam Musa as Abdul Halim's successor by nominating him the state seat of Kijang.

"Pas leaders know what is going on ... but Pas supporters are kept in the dark," he said.

MEANWHILE, in KOTA BHARU, State UMNO chief Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said Thursday the electoral pact between Pas and Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) in Kelantan is loose and shaky, strengthening the chances of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest the state from Pas.

He said the Pas-Keadilan electoral understanding was an insincere co-operation and showed the pretentious nature of the two parties.

"This does not happen in BN. The co-operation among component parties is clear and it does not exist merely during elections but to help develop the country all this while," he told reporters after presenting scholarships and financial aid of the 1969 Class of the Sultan Ismail College Alumni.

On Wednesday, Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat openly opposed Keadilan's plan to field a socialist candidate for the Kota Bharu parliamentary seat in the March 21 General Election.

He said Pas was not confident such a candidate could win in the state.

Nik Aziz, who is also Pas' Spiritual Adviser, declined to name the candidate but it is reliably learnt that Keadilan proposed to nominate Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) President Dr Syed Husin Ali.

Commenting on the matter, Mustapa said Kelantanese were aware of the tricks employed by Pas and Keadilan and it was time they voted for BN in the election.

"If they choose the two parties (Pas and Keadilan), surely they will not be able to develop Kelantan but also other states," he said.

Earlier, in his speech, he urged teachers in Kelantan to make a wise decision to vote for a party which could develop educational institutions to produce excellent students.

He said teachers in the state now realised not to elect a party which would be of no benefit to the state and country.

At the function, 17 high achievers in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) from the college received RM12,900 in scholarships from the alumni.

Mustapa also announced RM10,000 allocation for the college's mosque fund.