“Unremorseful” Tengku Zafrul now eyes a seat in UMNO supreme council

ONE truly wonders if political newbie Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has never learnt his lesson or is merely a proponent of the never give up attitude as he expressed his intention to run for the position of an UMNO supreme council member at the party’s upcoming election.

It seems that a failure to wrest control of the Kuala Selangor parliamentary constituency from Amanah-Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad in the 15th General Election (GE15) despite boasting a lucrative election machinery has never dented the confidence of the technocrat-turned-politician.

The International Trade and Industry Minister has described taking his political ambition to greater height as significant in his effort to build a serviceable political base in the longer term.

Whether he will be welcomed in UMNO or be able to make any impactful inroad given his presumably weak grassroots support is as good as anybody’s guess but the former finance minister will be best remembered for causing a stir in the unity government with a Cabinet position via the senatorship route.

To accord him benefit of doubt, Tengku Zafrul is of the view that the increasingly dynamic political landscape opens up space for healthy and constructive competition.

“This politics is dynamic in nature, and the most important thing is that effective touch helps to dignify the community and the country,” he told Astro Awani in a brief message.

“UMNO is an experienced party and its leaders have matured through political ups and downs, so I believe the party’s leaders and grassroots want to see a more dynamic combination of leadership from various backgrounds to ensure that the process of strengthening the party after GE15 can go well.”

During his winding up speech at the UMNO general assembly on Jan 14, UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has named Tengku Zafrul to be in-charge of Selangor in the looming state polls due middle of this year.

Meanwhile, a source close to UMNO told Malaysiakini that Tengku Zafrul might even contest in a constituency under the Kota Raja parliamentary seat which boasts Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu as its incumbent.

“There have been discussions to bring Zafrul into one of the state constituencies under Kota Raja,” the anonymous source told the independent news portal. “Zafrul (has) also changed his UMNO membership to the Kota Raja division last month. But the top level (party leadership) will decide which seat he will contest.”

All three state constituencies under Kota Raja, namely Sentosa, Sungai Kandis and Kota Kemuning are under PH.

Interestingly, another source told Malaysiakini that Tengku Zafrul has been shortlisted for either the Sungai Kandis or Kota Kemuning seat.

“Sungai Kandis has been traditionally contested by UMNO … There must be discussions among the top leadership for PH to step aside for UMNO in the coming state election,” added the source. – Feb 2, 2023

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