Hadi: Umno ‘court cluster’ counting on state elections to survive

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State elections in the country are an extension of power-play among the members of Umno court cluster in their quest to save themselves, said Abdul Hadi Awang.

The PAS president said the Islamist party did not agree to elections if they were held to fulfil individual agendas or for political expediency.

He said leaders in Umno who have been charged in court should not be afraid to face trial if they are innocent.

He did not refer to any state elections in particular but Malacca had a snap poll last October while Johor has also called for one.

The delayed Sarawak election was held after the state legislative assembly completed its term.

“Calling for state elections is not a good strategy, but we know it is the work of the Umno court cluster, all of whom have no position in government.

“We don’t consider them guilty but if they are morally upright, they should fight in court and not make life difficult for the people by calling for elections,” he told reporters in Rusila, Marang, today.

Hadi said he was disappointed by some of the leaders in the court cluster but did not name names.

The court cluster refers to Umno leaders facing criminal charges in court.

Among them include party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Najib Razak who are facing graft and money laundering charges. They are widely seen as liabilities to Umno.

Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad announced last weekend that the state assembly had been dissolved to pave the way for snap polls, after days of speculation.

It was widely seen as a decision brought on by the Umno leadership which wanted a strong mandate to rule the state.

DAP and Umno hold the most seats in the state with 14 each, followed by Bersatu (11), PKR (7), Amanah (6), MIC (2) and PAS (1), totalling 55 after the death of Kempas assemblyman Osman Sapian on December 22.

Pakatan Harapan claimed 36 of the 56 state seats in 2018, while Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS managed only 19 and one, respectively.

Following defections by Bersatu and PKR state assemblymen in 2020, BN paired up with Perikatan Nasional to rule Johor with a simple majority of 29 seats – which was reduced to 28 after Osman’s death.

Last October, in the Malacca polls, BN gained a sweeping two-thirds majority after winning 21 out of 28 seats. – TMI