DEPUTY Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Monday refuted speculation that he has cancer and will resign as Umno president.
“I don’t know about my resigning [as Umno president], but I did undergo prostate surgery, don’t speculate. Alhamdulillah, I’m healthy now,” he said when met by reporters after launching Polytechnic Transformation 2023-2030 here on Monday.
He said this in response to media reports that he would step down as Umno president due to health problems.
The deputy prime minister returned to work last Friday after recovering from surgery. His first order of business was to attend the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Commenting on the Kemaman parliamentary by-election results, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman said the victory by PAS could not be considered a referendum by the people.
“We cannot consider it a referendum… How could 141,000 voters in Kemaman be considered a public referendum? They should stop daydreaming,” he said.
According to him, based on the results, there was no increase in support for the PAS candidate in the Kemaman by-election as about 10,000 BN voters did not go to the polls.
PAS retained the Kemaman parliamentary seat after its candidate, Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, won with a majority of 37,220 votes, after obtaining 64,998 votes.
He defeated BN candidate Gen (Rtd) Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, who garnered 27,778 votes.
Following the victory by PAS, its secretary general Takiyuddin Hassan reportedly claimed that the 37,000-vote majority won by PAS was indicative of the public’s disapproval of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership of the country.
He said the victory was an endorsement of the Islamist party’s candidate and signalled a surge in public support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal Opposition coalition.