GE15: Ketereh Umno warns grassroots may pull support for Barisan if Annuar not contesting

GE15: Ketereh Umno warns grassroots may pull support for Barisan if Annuar not contesting

KOTA BHARU: Ahead of the announcement of Barisan Nasional candidates for the 15th General Election (GE15) on Tuesday (Nov 1) night, Ketereh Umno warns grassroots may withdraw support for the party.

Insiders told The Star that the grassroots had, during a meeting on Monday (Oct 31) night, tried to persuade Ketereh Umno chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa to contest independently should he not be named as Barisan’s Ketereh candidate.

It is understood that the party machinery had also given their word that they would work for Annuar no matter which party he represented in GE15.

“Annuar, however, told us to remain calm and continue working as usual, we are not allowed to remove any flags or close down our centres.

“At the moment, the grassroots are adhering to his instructions, but I am sure that they will not do so if the news (that Annuar will not contest Ketereh) is confirmed,” sources said.

On Monday, Annuar had a meeting with division chiefs and committee members who would be manning the district voting offices.

The Star was told that during the meeting, Annuar had to console the grassroots who refused to accept a candidate other than him.

“I was in the meeting last night, most of the attendees admitted that they can’t accept any other candidate even if Annuar wants them too.

“They are in no mood to campaign.. some even suggested Annuar contest independently as they don’t mind working under him no matter what flag he is carrying,” sources said.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Ketereh Puteri Umno chief Marzuani Ardila Ariffin, who has been tipped to replace Annuar as candidate, was reported to have rejected the offer.

She said Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, however, had not accepter her rejection, saying that the party had made its decision.

Sources said Marzuani, who was also at last night’s meeting, was looking rather gloomy.

Meanwhile, another Umno insider said while Marzuani is known to the people of Ketereh, the source believed that she was not ready to carry the responsibility.

“She doesn’t go to the ground as much, she mostly implements programmes for Tan Sri, whatever he says, she would do it,” the source said, adding that he believed Umno would lose Ketereh if Annuar did not contest the seat.

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