By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KAJANG, March 25 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today he is not a Terengganu mentri besar candidate for PAS and will not contest a state seat there in upcoming polls.
The PAS president said the party has already identified candidates as potential MBs should PAS win back the state from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.
“I withdraw, I will not contest. I will open the way for new faces to contest,” the former Terengganu MB said at a press conference also attended by state PAS commissioner Abdul Wahid Endut.
But the Marang MP also stressed that the “final decision” was up to the PAS leadership, and he would abide by whatever was decided.
Abdul Hadi had said in January he did not want to contest in the next general election that must be called by May next year.
However, the party’s political bureau had rejected this suggestion on February 2.
Abdul Hadi was mentri besar of Terengganu from 1999 to 2004, and is currently the state assemblyman for Rhu Rendang and MP for Marang, both in Terengganu.
PAS took over Terengganu from BN after the 1999 general election only to lose it again to the ruling federal coalition in 2004.
Today, Abdul Wahid also made a string of election promises for the return of Terengganu, including a blanket exemption on assessment taxes, the creation of 17,000 job opportunities in the state within the first three months of the polls, and to regain oil royalty rights for the state.
He said the problem faced by Terengganu was its people were too dependent on the state government, and that this was caused by Umno-BN’s failure to empower people in the state.
“Kelantan, like Terengganu, is also poor, but the difference is that its people are independent.
“Lack of education in religious (matters), lack of empowerment have stopped people in Terengganu from doing [becoming independent],” Abdul Wahid added.