By Anisah Shukry
KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Mohamad Sabu has claimed he talked former Information Minister Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir into quitting Umno after the latter accused the ruling party of buying votes early this year.
The PAS deputy president, who is better known as Mat Sabu (picture), said he was now negotiating with other Umno leaders to follow in Abdul Kadir’s footsteps, although he stopped short of revealing their names as well as the details of the talks, Berita Harian reported today.
“I support the right actions taken by Umno leaders... that is why Umno leaders like me. The one who likes me most is (Abdul) Kadir Sheikh Fadzir,” he was quoted as saying in a speech in Jitra last night.
“I’ve been negotiating with him for a long time. Once you’re out of Umno, only then you know (the truth). I’m negotiating with many more people... just wait,” Mat Sabu added.
Former Umno supreme council member and Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Abdul Kadir resigned as an Umno member on March 19 after 56 years in the ruling party.
He said in a statement he handed in his notice of resignation to Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor earlier that day, just a week after quitting his division treasurer’s post.
Abdul Kadir made headlines in January when he accused the ruling party of handing out between RM200 and RM1,000 to voters in previous elections in exchange for votes.
He, however, had denied personally using the “bomb” strategy to win elections in Kulim-Bandar Baharu where he was MP for 30 years from 1978.
He also denied making the claim out of frustration for having been sidelined in the party, stressing that his relationship with the present administration and Umno leadership remained warm.
Tengku Adnan, however, has denied Abdul Kadir’s allegations that Umno had resorted to money politics, pointing out that the party has never bought votes and did not need to.
He said that as an Umno man Abdul Kadir should not be issuing statements that could tarnish the party’s reputation and questioned why the latter did not just quit Umno.
“If he feels Umno is not right, why hasn’t he left the party?” the former tourism minister had been quoted as saying by Bernama Online.